Tip #173: Ending punctuation in the 300 field of a RDA record in Evergreen Indiana

Field 300 may end in no punctuation, may end in a right parenthesis, or may end in a period when either the last element is an abbreviation (“cm” and “mm” are not treated as abbreviations) or a 490 field is present in the record.

We never used to have to think much about the ISBD rules for this field until RDA because most 300 fields ended with a period anyway (the abbreviation “cm.” or “in.”). However, ‘cm’ is not considered an abbreviation in RDA, so now we have to be careful.


300 __ 287 pages : |b color illustrations ; |c 24 cm (no 490, so no period)

300 __ 12 sound discs (approximately 14 hrs.) : |b digital ; |c 4 ¾ in. (490 may or may not be present- it doesn’t matter here)

300 __ 821 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : |b illustrations ; |c 25 cm. (period because a 490 field is present)
490 1_ World at war

300 __ 1 sound disc : |b digital ; |c 4 ¾ in. + |e 1 booklet (no 490, so no period)

300 __ 338 pages ; |c 30 cm + |e 1 sound disc (digital ; 4 ¾ in.). (490 present)
490 1_ Senior fitness guides

Note: Abbreviations for duration and dimensions are allowed in RDA.

The reasoning behind this period/no period business has to do with areas of description in an ISBD display. Because the series statement and physical description are part of the same ‘paragraph’, a period is needed after the 300 to separate it from the 490 in the display. If there is no 490 field, then the 300 field is in a paragraph by itself and needs no ending punctuation.
Originally published on March 29, 2013.

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MARC Fields