MARC 583 Action Note

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MARC field 583 in the bibliographic and holdings formats contains information about processing, reference, and preservation actions. Reference actions may include a brief statement about solicitation to acquire material, whether the solicitation is active or inactive, and the date of the last item of correspondence. Preservation actions may include a review of condition, queuing for preservation, and completion of preservation. Field 583 is repeatable to record information about different actions. Field 583 does not end with a mark of punctuation unless already present in the data.


The Cataloging and Metadata Department uses field 583 (usually only in the bib record) to gather statistics, and to indicate when preliminary cataloging has been done. It replaces use of initials and date in the 852ǂx.


  • First - always 0 for "private"
  • Second - undefined (blank)

ǂ3 Materials specified (NR)

Use ǂ3 - Materials specified if bib record has multiple holdings.

ǂa - Action (NR)

Use a term from the following list:

  • Preliminary cataloging (record meets Folger Preliminary cataloging standards
  • Cataloged (item-in-hand cataloging, including copy-cataloging)
  • Recataloged (item-in-hand recataloging of material previously cataloged on cards)
  • Copy added (new holding added, bib record not substantially changed)
  • Recon (information copied from cards)
  • Upgraded (primarily used by Metadata Specialist and by interns doing database clean-up and enhancement; see also "Nonpublic note")

ǂc - Time/date of action (R)

Year and month the action was completed, in ISO 8601 format: yyyy-mm (do not include the day: it makes it harder to generate statistics, and can be found through the Voyager "History" tab if needed)

ǂj - Jurisdiction (R)

Funding agency or project name. Used only for grant-funded and other special projects.

ǂk - Action agent (R)

Your initials.

ǂn - Extent (R)

Number of physical pieces cataloged (for books, most often corresponds to “volumes”) or number of links added. Not used for "Preliminary cataloging".

ǂo - Type of unit (R)

Unit represented in the preceding ǂn. For cataloging, always piece or pieces (whether it's a volume, a single-sheet print, a letter, etc.). For linking, always link or links. Terminology for archival records yet to be determined.

ǂx - Nonpublic note (R)

Additional information. Used primarily to indicate the type of upgrade for "ǂa Upgraded" when the type of upgrade is one that's being counted for reporting purposes. Terms required if applicable:

  • Folgerpedia
  • Luna

ǂ2 - Source of term (NR)

Always local

ǂ5 - Institution to which field applies (NR)

Always DFo


583 0 ‡a Cataloged ‡c 2014-12 ‡k SEH ‡n 1 ‡o piece ‡2 local ‡5 DFo 583 0 ‡a Preliminary cataloging ‡c 2014-12 ‡k DJL ‡2 local ‡5 DFo 583 0 ‡a Upgraded ‡c 2014-12 ‡k EEW ‡n 1 ‡o link ‡x Luna ‡2 local ‡5 DFo


Ambox notice.png This article contains outdated information and needs review.
acquired surrogate microfilmed stabilized
condition reviewed rebound transferred to optimal storage
conserved repaired transformed digitally
digitized reproduced in analog withdrawn
housed reproduced in print other
mass deacidified retained

ǂb Action identification

  • May be used to cite a local database record number (such as the conservation database) when more extensive treatment documentation exists or to cite a grant or other project number

ǂc - Time/date of action (R)

  • Required subfield
  • Use format yyyymmdd
  • If month or day is unknown, leave blank
  • The date in the |c lets you know that "as of this date" such-and-such was the case. We use it for books in Hamnet when damage is noted (so reading room staff know that an item was damaged before it was given to the reader if they come across something when checking the book in).

ǂh - Jurisdiction (R)

  • Used to record grant information for statistical purposes, e.g., NEH PW 50530-10

ǂk - Action agent (R)

  • Catalogers and curators, put your own initials for "condition reviewed"
  • Conservators, use your name
  • Other departments, use your department name (e.g. Acquisitions, Reading Room)

ǂl - Status (R)

  • Use terms from controlled vocabulary terms from Preservation & Digitization Actions: Terminology for MARC 21 Field 583 when ǂa (Action) is condition reviewed
  • If the damage is bibliographically significant (for example, missing plates) notify the relevant cataloger so that an "Imperfect" note can be added
  • If standard vocabulary doesn't apply, or to provide additional information, use ǂx (non-public note) or ǂz (public note) if appropriate.
(list below last updated Feb. 2, 2013):
acidic paper insect damaged rehoused poorly
alkaline paper loose repaired previously
annotated marginalia scratched
blocked missing stained
brittle mold damaged sticky shed
damaged mutilated torn
defaced not intact undamaged
delaminated obscured vinegar syndrome
do not treat obsolescent format warped/cockled
faded oxidized water damaged
flaked/cracked rebacked
foxed redox

ǂx - Nonpublic note (R)

ǂz - Public note (R)

ǂ2 - Source of term (NR)

  • Add ǂ2 pda when using controlled vocabulary in ǂa or ǂl

ǂ5 - Institution to which field applies (NR)

  • Always add ǂ5 DFo, even when the bibliographic record describes a unique item


583 1# ǂa conserved ǂc 19760000 ǂz re-lined ǂk Olin Conservation Inc. ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo 
583 1# ǂa conserved ǂb Cons DB 985171 ǂc 20090206 ǂk Folger staff ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo 
583 1# ǂ3 copy 2 v.1-10,13,15 ǂa housed ǂc 20100518 ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo 
583 1# ǂa condition reviewed ǂc 20080119 ǂz running tears, seal needs consolidation ǂk HRW ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo 
583 1# ǂa condition reviewed ǂc 20140114 ǂl brittle ǂz front wrapper detached ǂk DJL ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo   
583 1# ǂa condition reviewed ǂc 20140523 ǂl not intact ǂz boards loose ǂk DJL ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo 
583 1# ǂa condition reviewed ǂc 20140321 ǂl torn ǂz running tear on leaves A5, N1, N4 ǂk DJL ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo 
583 1# ǂa condition reviewed ‡c 20140211 ǂz openings R2.3 and Y1,2 determined not to contain mold ǂk Adrienne Bell ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo
583 1# ǂa housed ǂc 20140930 ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo


The 583 field can only be searched in Voyager, not Hamnet (that is, only through the staff modules, not Hamnet). Use the "Builder" tab and search in "583 Action note"