Tip #181: Bibliographic References (504 field)

Sections of a book titled “Notes”, “Selected Bibliography”, and “Bibliographic Sources” are all considered bibliographic references. Sections called “Other Resources” or “Sources of More Information” or lists of where the reader can find crafting supplies are really not bibliographic references but catalogers often include these. If they are already in the record as a bibliographic resource, leave them but do not add these types of references in the 504. Technically, ‘bibliographic references’ means a list of the sources that the writer consulted or cited.

Record information about bibliographic references in the 504 field. This field can also be used for discographies and filmographies. If your item also has an index, include this information in the 504 rather than a separate 500 index note.

Always add pagination unless the bibliographic references are dispersed throughout the work. Put the page numbers in parentheses and bracket numbers that do not actually appear on the page.

CIP (cataloging in publication) records often have incorrect or missing information about bibliographic references and indexes, so it’s important to check these carefully. Pagination will not be included in a CIP record and will have to be added.

The 504 field ends in a period, even if the note ends in a bracket or parenthesis. There are no indicators, and all information may be put in subfield a.

Any information in the record about bibliographic references and indexes must be reflected in the Fixed Fields. If you add or remove information about bibliographic references and/or indexes in the variable fields, make sure to also change the fixed fields grid.

  • If your item has an index, then the Indx (Index) fixed field is coded ‘1’. (If there is no index, this field is ‘0’.)
  • If your item contains bibliographic information, then the Cont (Nature of Contents) field must contain a ‘b’ (bibliographies), ‘k’ (discographies), and/or ‘q’ (filmographies). Up to four codes may be used in the Cont field, in alphabetical order.


500 Includes index. (Indx is 1)

504 Includes bibliographic references (p. 299-304). (Indx is 0, Cont is b)

504 Includes bibliographic references (p. [504]-511) and index. (Indx is 1, Cont is b)

504 Includes discography (p. 311) and index. (Indx is 1, Cont is k)

504 Includes bibliographic references (p. 405-421) and filmography (p. 422). (Indx is 0, Cont is bq)

Originally published on May 24, 2013.

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MARC Fields