MARC 506 Restrictions on Access Note

MARC field 506 in the bibliographic and holdings formats contains information about restrictions imposed on access to the described materials. This field is repeatable.

Commonly-used tags

First indicator - Restriction

1 - Restrictions apply 

Second indicator - Undefined


‡a - Terms governing access (NR)
‡c - Physical access provisions
‡3 - Materials specified (NR)
‡5 - Institution to which field applies (NR)

Policy and formulation

Licensing restrictions

Do not use MARC 506 for access restrictions to online resources. Use 852$h instead.

Access advisories

NOTE: These access advisories are being updated for post-renovation systems. Once the updates are finalized, they will be published here.

Indefinite restrictions

When an item has been designated as restricted in order to reduce handling:

  • Add a yellow "Do not remove from shelf" flag to the volume (flags are kept near the paper cutter in the Cataloging office; extras are in the supply closet)
    • Write the call number into the blank spot at the top of the flag
    • Write a brief explanation for the restriction on the back of the flag
  • Add a identical 506 field to both the bibliographic and holdings records for that item.
  • Provide a concise explanation of why items are restricted in ǂa
  • Include a standard phrase describing provisions for access in ǂc
  • If there is more than one volume or more than one copy, identify which are the restricted items by entering the full call number in MARC ǂ3 Materials specified.
  • End with ǂ5 DFo even for manuscripts, drawings, and other inherently unique material (so that reports looking for stray notes from imported records can be run based on ǂ5 instead of combinations of material types)

Legacy: restricted notes were formerly put in field 852 ǂz.

Note: The following strings can be copied-and-pasted directly into Connexion


5061 RESTRICTED: special provenance. ǂc Use digital reproduction or microfilm. Original available by special permission only. ǂ5 DFo
5061 ǂ3 STC 2662 copy 2 ǂa RESTRICTED: embroidered binding. ǂc Available by special permission only. ǂ5 DFo
5061 ǂa RESTRICTED. ǂc Use digital reproduction, published facsimile (call number HF3504.6.F45 F45 2012), or microfilm. Original available by special permission only. ǂ5 DFo
5061 RESTRICTED: unique issue. ǂc Use microfilm. Original available by special permission only. ǂ5 DFo 
5061 RESTRICTED: unique edition. ǂc Use digital reproduction. Original available by special permission only. ǂ5 DFo

Temporary restrictions

Conservation advisories

When an item is temporarily unavailable because it is awaiting conservation treatment, the Curatorial Assistant adds an access advisory to the holdings record and bib record using the following examples as a model. The advisory should be added as soon as it is determined that the item needs conservation work and cannot be handled until that work is completed. Ideally the CA completes a FileMaker Pro record at this time as well.

Note: Items with conservation advisories only receive an "Awaiting Conservation" flag with the appropriate bubble filled in, NOT a yellow "Restricted" flag.
Note: the following examples may be copied-and-pasted directly into Hamnet. (Make sure the the selection arrow is positioned in the far left column.)


506 1_  ‡a RESTRICTED. Awaiting conservation. Available by special permission only. ‡5 DFo
506 1_  ‡a RESTRICTED. Unavailable for research. Awaiting conservation treatment. ‡5 DFo

When treatment is complete, the Curatorial Assistant:

  • Deletes the access advisory in the holding and the bib record
  • Adds any conservation notes or paperwork to the curatorial file

Loan advisories

When an item is approved for loan, the Exhibitions Department adds a 506 field to the bibliographic record for that item using the following examples as a model. Start the "unavailable" period far enough in advance for the item to be conditioned and packed well before travel. If the item will be available at the borrowing institution, include that information in the 506. Note: the following examples may be copied-and-pasted directly into the "text marc" view of the Catalog Record Editor. Be sure to include the blank space before the MARC tag number.


 5061_ $$aSCHEDULED LOAN. Unavailable for research February through June 2008.
 5061_ $$aTemporarily available by appointment in the Kislak Center Reading Room, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, University of Pennsylvania. See <a href="">Access and Visitor Information for the Kislak Center</a>.

When the item returns, Exhibitions Department:

  • Deletes the access advisory (can be done by a cataloger as a Batch Edit when there are so many that hand-editing would be impractical)
  • Adds a MARC 585 Exhibitions Note to the bibliographic record
  • Removes the Location Exception in the Item record

Exhibition advisories

Items in on-site exhibitions can usually be made available in the Reading Room, with advance notice. Beginning in 2023, no 506 note is made for these items.

External links