Tip #170: Using subfields n & p in the 245 field

Subfields ‘n’ (number of part or section) and ‘p’ (name of part or section) often appear in the 245 field for video recordings, where they are used to identify episodes or seasons of television series. These subfields can also be used in MARC records for books when a series statement is inappropriate. This happens whenever the name of the part (the book) doesn’t make sense when separated from the common title (what would otherwise be the series).

Punctuation, capitalization and field order rules for these subfields are not intuitive. Here are the basics:

  1. Subfields ‘n’ and ‘p’ are considered part of the Title Proper. This means they come BEFORE subfields ‘b’ and ‘h’
  2. The first word of both subfields ‘n’ and ‘p’ is always capitalized
  3. Punctuation:
    1. Subfield ‘n’ is always preceded by a period
    2. Subfield ‘p’ is preceded by a period if it follows subfield ‘a’ but is preceded by a comma if it follows subfield ‘n’
  4. Consider repeating the contents of subfield ‘p’ in a 246 field if you think patrons may search by those words


245 10 |a Inside the jewelry box. |n Volume 2 : |b a collector’s guide to costume jewelry : identification and values / |c Ann Mitchell Pitman. (Subfield n is always preceded by a period. Subfield n comes before subfield b)

245 00 |a Last of the summer wine. |p Vintage 1979 |h [videorecording] / |c written by Roy Clarke ; directed and produced by Sydney Lotterby. (Subfield p is preceded by a period because it follows a subfield a. Subfield p comes before the GMD)

245 00 |a Geochemical data from the departments of Choco and Antioquia, Colombia. |n Part B, |p Printout of analytical data |h [microform] / |c by U.S. Geological Survey Center for… (Subfield n is always preceded by a period. Subfield p is preceded by a comma here because it follows a subfield n.

245 00 |a Signing time! |n Volume 4, |p Family, feelings & fun |h [videorecording] / |c a Two Little Hands production ; created by Rachel de Azevedo Coleman…
246 3 |a Family, feelings & fun
246 3 |a Family, feelings and fun (Subfield p is repeated in a 246 because patrons may search by this part name.)

Originally published on March 8, 2013.

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MARC Fields