MARC 583 Action Note

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Field 583 in the bibliographic and holdings formats contains information about processing, reference, and preservation actions. The Folger uses field 583 to record conservation treatments needed and/or performed, to gather cataloging statistics, and to indicate when preliminary cataloging has been done. This field is repeatable.

Basic use and searching

Basic use:

  • Add new 583 fields after existing 583s (so that the history of what has happened to the material can be read from old to new).
  • Do not delete out-dated 583s: instead, change ǂz to ǂx on out-dated information so that previous condition doesn't display in a public note (e.g., when "Running tears on leaves A5, N1, N4" are mended, change that note from Public to Non-public.)


Commonly-used tags


1st Indicator - Privacy

0 - Private 
1 - Not private 

2nd Indicator



ǂa - Action (NR)
ǂc - Time/date of action (R)
ǂj - Jurisdiction (R)
ǂk - Action agent (R)
ǂn - Extent (R)
ǂo - Type of unit (R)
ǂx - Nonpublic note (R)
ǂz - Public note (R)
ǂ2 - Source of term (NR)
ǂ3 - Materials specified (NR)
ǂ5 - Institution to which field applies (NR)

Cataloging: policy and formulation

Reminder: only use ǂz (public note) for condition notes.

ǂa - Action (NR)

Use a term from the following list (terms should be entered entirely in lowercase, except for proper nouns):

  • ad hoc record created (stub record created)
  • batch loaded (records created by batch upload from vendor records or .csv file)
  • preliminary cataloging (record meets Folger Preliminary cataloging standards)
  • cataloged (item-in-hand cataloging in OCLC of material that has never been cataloged, and brought into the Folger catalog)
  • recataloged (item-in-hand recataloging in OCLC or the Folger catalog of material previously cataloged by Folger staff)
  • copy added (new copy added, bib record not substantially changed)
  • recon (information copied from cards)
  • WorldCat import (records imported from WorldCat to the Folger catalog as part of a special project)
  • revised (anything that doesn't fit elsewhere--explain the action in the nonpublic note; for example, used by Metadata Specialist and by interns doing database clean-up and enhancement; see also "Nonpublic note") [prior to December 2018 the term "upgraded" was used instead of "revised]. Note: If you're just fixing a typo, or making a similarly quick change that doesn't alter the substance of the record, don't bother with the 583. As a general guideline, if it would take longer to add the 583 than it did to make the adjustment, don't add a 583.

ǂc - Time/date of action (R)

Year and month the action was completed, in ISO 8601 format as : yyyy-mm or yyyy-mm-dd.

ǂj - Jurisdiction (R)

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

ǂk - Action agent (R)

Cataloger initials.

ǂn - Extent (R)

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

Since this only corresponds with physical volumes, sammelbands should have "1" for the first bib record and "0" for subsequent records.

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 revised", especially the type of upgrade is one that's being counted for reporting purposes. Use a term from the following list if applicable (so the combination of $a and $x are machine-countable for statistics):

  • collation
  • clean-up [use for database clean-up stemming from Backstage processing]
  • exhibition history
  • Folgerpedia
  • heading
  • Luna
  • reclassified
  • vault transfer
  • Wings of Desire

If none of the above terms apply, make a free-text note when appropriate (e.g. to document a significant correction or addition)

ǂ2 - Source of term (NR)

Always local

ǂ3 Materials specified (NR)

Use ǂ3 - Materials specified if the bibliographic record covers multiple copies.

ǂ5 - Institution to which field applies (NR)

Always DFo


A title in one volume cataloged in OCLC and brought into the Folger catalog

5830 ‡a cataloged ‡c 2014-12 ‡k SEH ‡n 1 ‡o piece ‡2 local ‡5 DFo

A 6-volume title cataloged in OCLC and brought into the Folger catalog

5830 ‡a cataloged ‡c 2015-05 ‡k ACK ‡n 6 ‡o pieces ‡2 local ‡5 DFo

A subsequent title in a sammelband cataloged in OCLC and brought into the Folger catalog

5830 ‡a cataloged ‡c 2015-05 ‡k DJL ‡n 0 ‡o piece ‡2 local ‡5 DFo

A continental book that had been cataloged on cards only, now cataloged in OCLC and brought into the Folger catalog

5830 ‡a recataloged ‡c 2015-05 ‡k RAB ‡n 1 ‡o piece ‡2 local ‡5 DFo

An added copy of an English book with an ESTC-downloaded record in the Folger catalog, cataloged in OCLC and brought into the Folger catalog

5830 ‡a recataloged ‡c 2015-05 ‡k DJL ‡n 1 ‡o piece ‡2 local ‡5 DFo
5830 ‡a copy added ‡c 2015-05 ‡k DJL ‡n 1 ‡o piece ‡2 local ‡5 DFo

An additional copy consisting of 2 volumes added to the Folger catalog, bibliographic record minimally edited

5830 ‡a copy added ‡c 2015-05 ‡k SEH ‡n 2 ‡o pieces ‡2 local ‡5 DFo

An additional copy added to the Folger catalog, bibliographic record with substantive edits (added headings, notes, etc.)

5830 ‡a copy added ‡c 2015-05 ‡k ACK ‡n 1 ‡o piece ‡2 local ‡5 DFo
5830 ‡a revised ‡c 2015-05 ‡k ACK ‡2 local ‡5 DFo

A record with two copies which were cataloged at separate times

5830 ‡3 PR2796.G3 O1 1841 Sh.Col. ‡a recataloged ‡c 2015-05 ‡k ACK ‡n 1 ‡o piece ‡2 local ‡5 DFo
5830 ‡3 PR2796.G3 K6 1841 item 3 Sh.Col. ‡a recataloged ‡c 2015-05 ‡k ACK ‡n 0 ‡o pieces ‡2 local ‡5 DFo

A record in the Folger catalog or OCLC for material previously cataloged only on cards, created by copying card information, item not in hand, by an imaginary intern working on an imaginary project

5830 ‡a recon ‡c 2016-06 ‡k GRB ‡j Picturing EMMO ‡2 local ‡5 DFo

Accession record in the Folger catalog verified by a cataloger as conforming to Folger standards for preliminary cataloging

5830 ‡a preliminary cataloging ‡c 2015-05 ‡k RAB ‡2 local ‡5 DFo

Link to Luna image(s) added to the Folger catalog record

5830 ‡a revised ‡c 2014-12 ‡k EEW ‡n 1 ‡o link ‡x Luna ‡2 local ‡5 DFo

Exhibition history added to the Folger catalog record

5830 ‡a revised ‡c 2014-12 ‡k EEW ‡n 1 ‡o link ‡x exhibition history ‡2 local ‡5 DFo

Substantive editing of a Folger catalog record, e.g. updated local notes after conservation treatment

5830 ‡a revised ‡c 2015-05 ‡k BD ‡2 local ‡5 DFo

Record edited as a result of Backstage processing

5830 ‡a revised ‡c 2016-08 ‡k DJL ‡x clean-up ‡2 local ‡5 DFo

Records imported into the Folger catalog as part of a special project

5830 ‡a WorldCat import ‡c 2015-09 ‡k RBD ‡x Uncataloged Wings project ‡2 local ‡5 DFo

Conservation: policy and formulation

Ambox notice.png This section contains text copied from legacy files and may or may not reflect current information.

ǂa - Basic action

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 - Conservation database number

  • Serial number for the Conservation database record or other treatment, when more information is available there.

ǂc - Date that basic action was completed

  • Mandatory
  • Use format yyyy-mm-dd
  • If month or day is unknown, leave blank
  • The date in the ǂc lets you know that "as of this date" such-and-such was the case. We use it for books in the Folger catalog 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). The date does not display in the Folger catalog, so should be added to the ǂz as well, if needed, in a more eye-friendly form.

ǂh - Grant or project code

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

ǂk - Who performed the basic action

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

ǂl - Status if basic action is "condition reviewed"

  • 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.
  • Standard PDA vocabulary for ǂl when ǂa (Action) is condition reviewed (still need to select which will be used at the Folger, or whether the Folger will create and maintain a custom list):
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 - Non-public note

  • Free-text note that will be visible in the MARC view, but not in the normal catalog display

ǂz - Public note

  • Written in sentence form; will display in the Folger catalog with the label "Condition note" (N.B. Does not replace the need for catalogers to describe bibliographically significant lacunae in the 852ǂz )

ǂ2 - Vocabuary code

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

ǂ5 - Institution code

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


583 1# ǂa conserved ǂb Cons DB 985171 ǂc 2009-02-06 ǂz Conserved in 2009. ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo 
583 1# ǂ3 copy 2 v.1-10,13,15 ǂa housed ǂc 2010-05-18 ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo 
583 1# ǂa condition reviewed ǂc 2008-01-19 ǂz Running tears, seal needs consolidation. ǂk HRW ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo
583 1# ǂa condition reviewed ǂc 2014-01-14 ǂl brittle ǂz Front wrapper detached. ǂk DJL ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo   
583 1# ǂa condition reviewed ǂc 2014-05-23 ǂl not intact ǂz Boards loose. ǂk DJL ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo 
583 1# ǂa condition reviewed ǂc 2014-03-21 ǂl torn ǂz Running tear on leaves A5, N1, N4. ǂk DJL ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo 
583 1# ǂa condition reviewed ‡c 2014-02-11 ǂz Openings R2.3 and Y1,2 determined not to contain mold. ǂk A. Bell ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo
583 1# ǂa condition reviewed ǂc 2019-01-17 ǂz Metal object: handle with gloves. ǂk ECB ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo
583 1# ǂa housed ǂc 2014-09-30 ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo
583 1# ǂa housed ǂb Cons DB 1000538 ǂc 2017-04-11 ǂk ABell ǂz Rehoused April 2017 ǂ2 pda ǂ5 DFo

External links