MARC 856 Electronic Location and Access

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MARC field 856 in the bibliographic and holdings format contains information needed to locate and access an electronic resource. The field may be used in a bibliographic record for a resource when that resource or a subset of it is available electronically. In addition, it may be used to locate and access an electronic version of a non-electronic resource described in the bibliographic record or a related electronic resource.

Common tagging

First indicator

4 - HTTP

Second indicator

 0 - Resource (Use when the item being described is electronic in nature, such as an online journal)
 1 - Version of resource (Use for electronic images of the resource being described)
 2 - Related resource (Use for resources related to the resource being described, such as online tables of contents or a finding aid to a manuscript collection) (for additional information, see 555_Cumulative_Index_Finding_Aid)

Use ǂz for the descriptive text that will be hyperlinked

Policy and formulation

When the bib record is for original material in the Folger collection

  • Make hypertext links to Folger digital images or related resources to the material being described.
  • When linking to the reproduction of a specific item (or portion of an item) represented by the bibliographic record (e.g. the bib record is for a manuscript, and the digital reproduction is of all or part of that manuscript), add an 856 to the existing holding record for the item being reproduced.
  • When linking to a related resource (e.g., a table of contents, a Folger finding aid, a Collation post about an item), create a separate holdings record with location code 'EleRes' and call number 'For access, follow the Linked Resources hyperlink'.
  • Do not add links to non-Folger reproductions, even if they reproduce the Folger copy (previously, we sometimes made additional holdings for EEBO links and Hathi Trust links; now those would be separate bib records).
  • When linking to a Folger resource, use the phrasing "Digital reproduction of Folger [call no. and copy no.]"; or the citation form for mss "Digital reproduction of Folger MS [call no.]".
  • When linking from a bibliographic record in Hamnet to only one or more (but not all) images from an item, use the following steps:
    • Link to the thumbnail page in all cases (that is, don't go all the way to the single image view if there's only one search result). That way when additional images are created from that title, we won't need to revise the link.
    • Use this text for the 530 ‡a: Portions also available as a digital reproduction. Or, if there's also a holdings record for microfilm, note both in a single note Also available on microfilm and portions available as a digital reproduction.
    • Use this text for the 856 ‡z: Digital reproduction of Folger Shakespeare Library [insert call no. here; if a mss, precede the call no with 'MS'] - selections only
  • If both collection-level and item-level records exist in Hamnet, provide digital image links in the item-level records only.

When the bib record is for physical material in the Folger collection

  • When linking to a commercial reproduction (e.g., ECCO or Google Books), even if the reproduction is of the Folger item, create a separate bib record. Use the location code 'EleRes' in the holding record.
  • Add the phrase "(Access limited by licensing agreements)" at the end of the 856 when the resource is not freely available.


856 40 ǂu ǂz Oxford English dictionary (Online) (Access limited by licensing agreements)
856 41 ǂu ǂz Reproduction of an original in the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery (Access limited by licensing agreements)
856 41 ǂu  ǂz Digital reproduction of Folger Shakespeare Library MS W.a.239 - selections only 
856 42 ǂu ǂz Guide to the Bacon-Townshend collection


  • Make hyperlinks to all Folger reproductions (including incomplete reproductions) in Luna.
  • For images of Folger copies in Luna, locate the image or set of images by searching for its Call Number (PDI):
  • For a set of images with a single call number:
    • In Luna, choose "Advanced Search" and use the third row of search boxes (i.e. the one that provides "find this exact wording:"). Then choose "Call Number (PDI)" from the second field dropdown. When you begin typing the shelfmark om the third field, you'll get a dropdown menu that shows you the available items.
    • Be sure to specifically pick the full call number of the item in question (e.g., don't just search Luna for 'Z.c.38' if what you are after is 'Z.c.38 (6)'). Otherwise when PDI digitizes other items in that call number range, your hyperlink will link to them, too.
    • The results of the search should represent all the images currently in Luna listed under that specific shelfmark.
    • From your search results, choose the "Sort Options" button (box with two up-and-down arrows). In the "Primary sort field", choose "Multiple Page Sort Order" from the dropdown. This indicates that the images will display in what was deemed the correct order when they were originally digitized (ex. front and back of a writ).
    • Note that in some cases you may need to have your primary sort set to "Call Number (PDI)" and set your secondary sort to "Multiple" in order to get the best results.
    • If necessary, change the display options to show 250 items per page, and to show large thumbnails.
    • Click "Share This" while on the results (thumbnail images) screen to get the permalink.
  • For a set of images with a call no. range: Choose Advanced Search in Luna, and use the first set of search boxes, the one that provides "find all these words:". Then choose "Call Number (PDI)" from the field dropdown.
    • Type in your search, e.g. l.a. You'll get no hits.
    • Edit the search in the search bar to add an asterisk. E.g., change the search from Call_Number=l.a. LIMIT:FOLGERCM1~6~6 to Call_Number=l.a.* LIMIT:FOLGERCM1~6~6 . Click search.
  • If a large set of images, select options to display 250 items per page; large thumbnails, and sort by Call Number (PDI)/Multiple page sort order (PDI)/Created or Published (PDI) before generating permalink (icons for these display options appear above the result set)
  • If a single image, go to single image view (beyond thumbnail; before workspace image) and get permalink from this screen.
  • In Hamnet Make a MARC holdings record for the link. The 856 in the bibliographic record and the 852/856 holdings record are both necessary for the text to properly display and link in the opac; e.g.:
852 8 ‡b DeckC-Rare‡h 225- 505q
856 41 ‡u ‡z Digital reproduction of Folger Shakespeare Library 225- 505q

When linking to Luna, be sure to also add a 530 field, "Portions also available as a digital reproduction."; or "Also available as a digital reproduction." When possible, combine such notes with "Also available on microfilm" notes.

Obsolete procedures

  • In the late 1990s and early 2000s, some records used the phrase "available only from Folger computers" and some put linked text in ǂy instead of $z
  • Before about 2012, some records for Folger vault material included links to non-Folger reproductions (e.g. from EEBO, Google Books, and Hathi Trust), whether or not the reproduction was of the Folger copy. Now, any electronic reproductions outside the Folger's own image repository should have separate bib records. Previously, the additional holdings would have looked like this:
856 41 ǂu ǂz Digital reproduction of an original in the University of California, Berkeley
856 41 ǂu ǂz Digital reproduction of an original of v. 1 in the New York Public Library.    
856 41 ǂu ǂz Digital reproduction of an original of v. 2 in the New York Public Library.