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Re: Holdings format coding question (Frieda Rosenberg) ERCELAA@ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu 14 Apr 1998 15:27 UTC

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 11:23:06 +0600
From: Frieda Rosenberg <friedat@EMAIL.UNC.EDU>
Subject: Re: Holdings format coding question

   I think you raise an extremely important question that in fact
has come up at our own library, also a DRA Opac.  Lack of
consistency in using the holdings format would represent a
drawback in trying to get useful information out of the data.
Partly because of the difficulties in interpreting the intentions
of the format (and partly for other reasons), we do not code for
completeness. This reduces the potential usefulness of our

   We handle our holdings as you do, splitting a run shelved in
two or more different places among plural MFH records.  I
noticed in some of the documentation I have with local examples
from other libraries, there is only one MFH record per "copy",
with variances in location or format stated in z-notes on
individual lines of holdings.  That way the completeness code can
match the overall holdings.  Not the best solution in my view,
however, for management of collections within locations.  There
is also talk of a "composite" record, such as the one libraries
would submit to a union list, where overall holdings determine
the coding.  The question is, how could this record be derived
automatically?  No one can do this!

   I really believe that the library world as a whole has to come
to terms with MFH and hammer out the guidelines, because more
systems are implementing it, but usually not fully.  The record
is supposed to be used to manage holdings internally and to
communicate them externally, and we have to balance those
interests. For example, vendors have implemented notes generated
by fixed field codes in MFH records, which help to communicate
with local users about particular copies or locations, but coding
for national communication might be very different.

   I am eager to hear what national standards bodies say, above
all, and hope also to hear what other libraries are doing.

Regards, Frieda
Frieda Rosenberg
Serials Cataloging
Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

On Mon, 13 Apr 1998, Jane Murray wrote:

> When you own a complete run of a periodical title, but the holdings
> are split among several collections and are recorded on separate
> holdings records, do you code the "completeness" data element
> (character 16 of the 008) to represent the institution's overall
> holdings, or just the holdings recorded on the individual record?