MARC 260 Publication, Distribution, etc. (Imprint) (Bibliographic)

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MARC field 260 in the Bibliographic format contains information relating to the publication, printing, distribution, issue, release, or production of a work. Note: MARC field 260 also exists in the authority format, but it contains information on complex see references for subjects.

Commonly-used tags




ǂa - Place of publication, distribution, etc. (R)
ǂb - Name of publisher, distributor, etc. (R)
ǂc - Date of publication, distribution, etc. (R)
ǂe - Place of manufacture (R)
ǂf - Manufacturer (R)
ǂg - Date of manufacture (R)
‡3 - Materials specified (NR)

Policy and formulation

Carrie's notes

  • Capitalization for common phrases
260  London : ǂb Printed by R. Walker, at Shakespear's-Head, in Turn-again Lane, by the ditch-side; and may be had at his shop the sign of Shakespear's Head in Change-Alley, Cornhill, and likewise at his shop, the sign of Shakespear's Head and Hawk, between the Savoy and Somerset-House, in the Strand.
260  ǂb Printed for R. Butters, no. 79, Fleet-Street; and sold by all booksellers in town and country.
  • In transcribing, include commas to separate initials when they represent different individuals:
 260  ǂb  G., G., J., and J. Robinson 

Dates and Publication:

  • “i.e.” only if making correction to printed date
 260  ǂc DCCXXXIV [734 i.e. 1734] 
  • The use of a hyphen indicates a span of years for multi-part monographs. When trying to indicate that something was published between two dates, use the formulation "[between xxxx and xxxx]" as exemplified in DCRM(B) 4D5, viz.,
  • Add an explanatory note for span of years
 260 ǂc [between 1785 and 1790?]  
 500  Jaggard gives publication date as [1785?]; the ESTC as [1790?].
  • Publication information from the colophon has precedence over the t.p. verso (DCRMB 0D). In this case, the t.p. verso does have "London", but the colophon does not.
 260  London : ǂb Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, Paternoster Row, and sold in the theatre, ǂc 1806 ǂe ([London] : ǂf S. Gosnell, printer, Little Queen Street) 
 500  Printer's name from colophon. 

Estimated dates
This isn't documented policy yet, but it's being discussed it for art cataloging... instruction comes from Cataloging Cultural Objects

  • If there is no publication date, and a date can only be guessed at, use [ca. <date>] in the 260:
 ǂc [ca. 1768] 
  • The fixed fields will use DtSt q, and a 5-year cushion for that 260 date:
 DtSt q Dates 1763, 1773  
  • The uniform title date reflects the 260 date:
 240 10 Plays. ǂf 1768 


  • Capitalize the fist word of subfield b, but do not for subfield c.
260 London : ǂb Printed by Hall, ǂc in the year 1650.

Conjectured publication

  • [S.l.] when the publication place is unknown. [s.n.] when the publisher's name is unknown.
  • Each element has its own square brackets
260 [S.l.] : ǂb [s.n.], ǂc 1647.

260 Publication, distribution, production, etc. [Art Cataloging Manual]

  • Always supply place if known or can be guessed, even if it's only a country or a region (As a last resort, if you can't even narrow it down to a continent or two, use [Place not identified])
  • Always begin ǂb with a capital letter. Treat shop signs and street names as proper names. For example, if source says "Iohn Bowles at the Sign of the Black horse in Cornhill" transcription reads =Iohn Bowles : ǂb At the sign of the Black Horse in Cornhill. When no name is given and none can be conjectured, use [Publisher not identified] for the ǂb.
  • For prints, in the absence of publication information, use information relating to production of the plate as the source for the 260. : :
    24510Henry I. van Craenhals ǂh [graphic] / ǂc W. Hollar fecit 1644 Londini. 
 260  [London] : ǂb [Publisher not identified], ǂc [1644]. 
  • Make a 752 Hierarchical Place Name heading for each place named in the 260. If there is more than one place in the 260, make an 044 with the coding for all places (use subfield ǂa for all, e.g. 044 xxk ǂa xxu for Great Britain and the United States). Always provide a date. See DCRM(G) for patterns on supplied dates. Make a note to justify supplied dates. For example:
  • Date based on technique.
[e.g., it's an albumen print, so it must date to the 2nd half of the 19th century]
  • Date based on style. 
  • Paper watermarked 1824.
  • Date based on theater's years of existence. 

Manufacture information (ǂeǂfǂg)

For cataloging vault books, we will apply DCRM(B) 4E, on place, name, and date of manufacture. See the long section 4A6, which discusses the relationships and differing treatment given to publishers, distributors, etc. (hereafter, publisher) and manufacturer. This is a summary of the provisions.

  • Put manufacturing information in field 260 ǂeǂfǂg only when all three conditions pertain:
    • the resource has both publication and manufacturing statements
    • the publication and manufacturing statements are grammatically independent
    • the publication information is emphasized by typography or layout
  • Otherwise, put manufacturing information in 260 ǂaǂbǂc.
  • Subfield ǂe contains place of manufacture. If no place is given, assume it is the same as the primary place of publication and supply the place name in square brackets. Do not transpose grammatically-separable place name; instead, transcribe it where it is occurs in ǂf and supply the place name in square brackets in ǂe.
  • Subfield ǂf contains name of manufacturer. Transcribe as found. When performing DCRM(B) cataloging, make a note for any transpositions or source of information if not the title page (however, avoid transposing whenever possible).
  • Subfield ǂg contains the date of manufacture. Only use this field if the date is given. Otherwise, leave it off the record

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