VHS Tapes


  1. Acquisitions is responsible for taking off any shrink-wrap packaging.  An order record/printout/gift slip will accompany most video or video sets.  There will be no accession number on item.  Per procedures with Millennium, do not worry about accession number for new acquisitions.

  2. Acquisitions will typically remove any viewing licenses.  If one is present with the video, then set it aside and route it to the Acquisitions Librarian.

  3. User guides or manuals that accompany videos are housed at Circulation, and must be treated as separate items.  Do include information about them in the $e in the 300 and in the $p and $d in the 049 and create item records for them with their own Linking Action slips.  Follow standard book cataloging procedures for the guide or manual.

  4. Occasionally we will purchase a Video that is considered an additional format to an existing format in the library.  There will be clear notation that it is to be treated as a multiple format. Consult the guide for cataloging Videorecordings within the Multiple Formats procedures.  Only follow this step if it is noted on the purchase order or printout, otherwise, treat as a separate record.

  5. For those items without an 050 or 090, put on Catalog Librarian's problem shelf.

  6. For DVD material, see the DVD Cataloging procedures and Editing guide.

Cataloging at OCLC

  1. Apply constant data [acd vid506 var] before you begin editing the record.  This will address the 049, 506, and 538 fields for most videos.  You will still need to complete the 049 field.

  2. Examine and edit the OCLC record according to the Videorecording Editing Guide, including the 049 holdings information for multiple videos and/or accompanying user guides.  Make sure the record you choose is for the videocassette version.

  3. RF after all additions/changes are made and validate to make sure all edits are correct.

  4. Apply the [Ctrl][b] macro; then edit "bn=uc" to "bn=um"; and RF. 

  5. Go to the line with tag 050 or 090 holding the LC call number.   Assign a new line number, change the tag to 949, make the second indicator 1, go to the end of the line and apply the [Ctrl][v] macro.

  6. If there are multiple tapes, edit this line to add a subfield c (‡c) and the text "Tape 1".  Re-edit the line, assigning successive line numbers and updating the subfield c (‡c) for successive tapes.

  7. If there is a separate guide(s), edit the line to change the subfield t (‡t) to 121.  Add a subfield c (‡c) and the text "Guide (#)" where "#" is the number of the guide if there is more than one.

  8. RF and Validate the record.

  9. Export (XPO/F11) the record into Millennium.

  10. Record the item record numbers on a Linking Action slip for each item.  Check off the top box and circle the "|f[Video Tape]|a" option.

  11. Produce shelflist card (p/F11).


Usage note:

Use this editing guide to catalog Videos when the video is the primary format held by the library and you are describing it as the primary format on the base record. If the video accompanies another format (for example, it duplicates or supplements a print item held by the library), you should generally catalog the other format on the base record and add information about the accompanying video as instructed in the procedures for cataloging Multiple Format Items.

Important notice: Apply constant data before you begin editing the record. This will address the 049, 506, and 538 fields. acd vid506 var

  • Accept “AS IS” all FIXED AND VARIABLE fields not included in the tables below.


Field Actions
Type Verify that code is g.
Lang Check to make sure that the correct language code has been assigned.
DtSt Verify that code is s for single date entered in Date fixed field; p for release date and production date in Date fixed field; or r for reprint/reissue date and original date.  Date(s) should match those in the 260 subfield c, and be reflected in a 500 note. ex. [ ‡a Originally produced as motion picture in 1991. ]
Dates Check date(s) to make sure they match the date(s) on which the video was issued. Verify that the data is for the video release, not the original movie release date.  Date(s) should match those in the 260 subfield c and any notes found in the record.



    A/E Column:


Accept if present; add field or add additional information only if necessary.


A variety of actions may be appropriate; follow instructions in Comments.


Add as directed.

Field DEFINITION A/E Comments
006 Fixed-Length Data Elements--Additional Material Characteristics A If the Fixed Field Type code is g, no 006 is needed for the video.  However, an 006 may be present or needed to describe related material in another format held by the library.  For example, if a book or CD-ROM accompanies the video, an 006 must be present or be added for the book or CD-ROM.  See procedures for cataloging Multiple Format Items for specific instructions.
007 Physical characteristics coding A Accept if present.  If not present, it is not necessary to add.  The coded data does not improve access to the record.

An 007 may be present or needed to describe related material in another format held by the library.  For example, if a CD-ROM or book accompanies the video, an 007 must be present or be added for the CD-ROM or book.  See procedures for cataloging Multiple Format Items for specific instructions.

049 Local holdings E Constant data applied.   [Video][Tape] should precede the ZWUU in the 049 field.


Single video:

 049  ‡a [Video][Tape]ZWUU

Multiple videos:

    049  ‡a [Video][Tape]ZWUU ‡v 1-2

Video or videos with separate guide:

    049  ‡a [Video][Tape]ZWUU ‡d [$v=video $p=guide] ‡v 1-3 ‡p []

05X-09X Call number E Follow the guidelines provided in Guidelines for Video Call numbers.
245 Title statement E Check the following information:

‡a  The title should match the title on the video.

‡h [videorecording]

This information must immediately follow ‡a and precede any other subfields such as ‡b and ‡c.  Do enter the brackets if not there already.

‡b, ‡c The subtitle and statement of responsibility should match the information on the videotape label and case.

246 Varying Form of Title A Parallel title. Accept as is if present. If not present, but parallel titles are in 245 ‡b, then add with coding 246 31.
260 Publication, distribution, etc. (imprint) A Accept as is, usually, but make sure the date in ‡c matches the first date in the Dates fixed field.
300 Physical description A ‡a: Total videocassettes.  Make sure the total number of videos is correct.  Use plural or singular videocassette(s) as appropriate. Accept the runtime if given, or enter the stated or approximate playing time in parentheses if noted on case.

‡b: Other details.  Generally, accept everything that is there.

‡c: Dimensions. Should always be 1/2 in.

‡e: Accompanying material. Use only for guides that will be kept separately from the video. Give the number; accept the physical descriptions and dimensions if there but do not add.


   300   ‡a 1 videocassette (24 min.) : ‡b sd., col. ; ‡c 1/2 in.

   300   ‡a 2 videocassettes (30 min. each) : ‡b sd., col. ; ‡c 1/2 in. + ‡e 1 guidebook (31 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.)

4XX Series Fields A Check and edit serials fields as usual for books.
5XX Notes Fields A Generally accept all 5XX fields, paying special attention to the fields below
506 Restrictions on Access Note E Constant data applied.  Use the following text unless otherwise instructed:

For private home use or face-to-face teaching activities in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction at Union College. Other restrictions may also apply. Any other use without license is in violation of the copyright law.

520 Summary Note A Generally accept if there, or add/augment if the information about the general content of the video is readily available on the video package.
538 System Details (Requirements) Note A Constant data applied. Use the following text unless otherwise instructed:


6XX-8XX Subjects and Added Entries E Check and edit subject and added entry fields as usual for books.
910 Local Gift Information S Add gift numbers as assigned by the Collection Development Librarian.
949 Local Processing Information S Add using provided macros as described in the Cataloging Procedure above.