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2.7B18 Contents. For books, give some type of note to list the contents of an item, of a collection, or of a multipart item

  • when required by specific rules (e.g. 1.1B10, 1.1G1, 21.7B)
  • when necessary to justify an added entry for an item not mentioned elsewhere int he description (21.29F)
  • when the publication is in two or more volumes and each volume has a title of its own
  • when the publication consists of volumes separating text from plates, text from maps, text from commentary, etc.

Informal contents notes are used to mention selected parts of an item (no more than three), summaries in languages other than the text, appendices, errata slips and are tagged 500.

Formal contents notes follow more specific rules.





  1. Use the appropriate value in indicator 1 of the MARC 21 505 field (Formatted Contents note) to indicate the character of the note: e.g., "Contents:"; "Incomplete contents:"; "Partial contents:" (without quotation marks) (see also 1.7A1). This is supplied by OCLC and ODIN based on the 505 indicators;
  2. Record the title proper that appears in the source that provides the best identification; however, if the title appears on the title page, normally use the title page title; give other title information only when the title proper would be meaningless without it; another source gives a more authoritative account of the data; however, if the title appears on the title page, normally use the title page title; give other title information only when the title proper would be meaningless without it
  3. Include a first statement of responsibility (cf. 1.1F) if it differs from the statement included in the title and statement of responsibility or edition areas; omit names according to 1.1F5. The statement of responsibility is preceded by a space-slash-space;
  4. Omit introductions [listed on the contents page if] already included elsewhere in the description; generally omit prefatory and similar matter;
  5. Publications in one volume
    • a) omit chapter and section numbering
    • b) if the extent of the part being listed occupies a disporportionately large portion of the publication, include the extent within parentheses after the title (or after the title and statement of responsibility); record an unnumbered page or leaf within brackets;
    • c) separate the titles with a space-dash-space (see also 1.7A3)
  6. Publications in two or more volumes
    • a) give the volume designation that is found on item, except use abbreviations in appendix B and substitute arabic numerals for roman; if there is no abbreviation for the term, give only the number if the term is long; if the roman numeral is required for clarity, retain it; separate the volume designation by a period-space;
    • b) if the number of the physical volumes differs from the number of bibliographic volumes, include the number of physical volumes within parentheses after the title (or after the title and statement of responsibility)
    • c) if the volumes are of different eds. (cf. LCRI 2.2) include within parentheses edition statements and dates of publication etc. after title (or title and statement of responsibility)
    • f) separate each volume with a space-dash-space (see also 1.7A3)
    • g) if the set is incomplete, put the space-dash-space before each title (other than the first) and leave four spaces for the missing volume
    • h) if two or more titles are being transcribed for one volume, apply the punctuation conventions from 1.1G3 such that the title by the same person, body, etc. are separated by a space-semicolon-space and titles by different person, bodies, etc. are separated by a period- space (or other full-stop such as dash between volumes) (see also 1.1G3)
    • i) when some volumes in a multipart publication have their own titles and some volumes do not, and it is decided to make a formal contents not, use the statement "[without special title]" to represent untitled volumes

LC practice modifies the above as follows:

  1. for LC original cataloging, encode contents information at the MARC 21 basic level
  2. for one-volume collections, limit contents notes to those collections containing no more than 12 titles and the title statement of responsibility area does not adequately cover the contents of the item; in case of doubt, give a contents note


CFL practice is as follows:

  1. for publications in more than one volume, where each volume has its own title page, always give an enhanced contents note;
  2. for publications in one volume, contents that list articles or chapters by different authors should be given in an enhanced contents note (except as below):
  3. for publications in one volume, contents without authors given, but with "key" topical words should be given in a basic contents note, particularly when subject headings assigned according to SCM:SH do not adequately cover the topic (except as below):
  4. generally follow the LCRI and LC practice, but allow for 12-15 titles, except:
  5. for materials of local interest (e.g. Special Collections), rare materials, or materials that would be confusing without the specificity provided for in the rules (i.e. not as applied in the LCRI)
    • a) list up to 25 titles, without statement of responsiblity if the titles contain "key words" unless the authors are local; then give partial contents in a way that brings out the local authors and/or titles with "key words";
    • b) for publications in one volume, include numbering if the organization is not clear or is misleading without it
  6. for contents that do not meet the above criteria and do not add meaningful descriptive or searchable words, do not give a contents note.


0       Complete contents

505 0   How these records were discovered -- A short sketch of the Talmuds 
         -- Constantine's letter. 
                Each section of the Contents Note is separated by a space-dash-space 
               (make the dash with 2 contiguous hyphens) 
                Period (full-stop) is at the end of the Contents Note

1       Incomplete contents 
        505 1   pt. 1. General observations -- pt. 2. Methodology --  pt. 3. Initial phase

                No period is at end because more are to be published 
        505 1   v. 1. Report    -- v. 3. Overseas systems of compensation. 
                Because we don't have v. 2, no dash is after v. 1 and 4 extra spaces are inserted before the dash 
               (2 contiguous hyphens) 
2       Partial contents 
        505 2   Manual 1. Principles of solar geometry and optics -- manual 2. Solar radiation quantitative 
        analysis -- manual 3. Heat transfer principles for solar applications -- manual 4. Passive solar 
        heating systems. 
                Only those titles chosen to be included are listed even though the item may contain more titles 

8       No display constant generated

        505 0   v. 1. The history of Anne Arundel County -- v. 2.  The history of ... (lots of volumes) -- v. 23. The history of Prince Georges County -- 
        505 8   v. 24. The history of Washington County beginning in  1884 -- v. 25. State manifest and birth record  (1764-1977).

                For long contents that continue to another note, end the first one with  --  and begin the second with 505 8 

Multiple volumes and authors using enhanced contents

        505 00  $g v. 1. $t Quark models / $r J. Rosner. $t Introduction to gauge theories of the strong, weak, and electromagnetic interactions / $r C. Quigg -- $g v. 2. $t Deep inelastic leptgonnucleon scattering / $r D.H. Perkins. $t Jet phenomena / $r M. Jacob -- $g v. 3. $t Accelerator design study / $r R.R. Wilson. $t Lectures in accelerator theory / $r M. Month.

When several titles are in each volume, each by a different author, separate each title/author with period-space 

        505 00   $g v. 1. $t Plain tales from the hills -- $g v. 2-3. $t Soldiers three and military tales -- $g v. 4. $t In black and white  -- $g [v. 5]. $t The phantom 'rickshaw and other stories -- $g v. 6. $t Under the deordars. $t The story of the Gadsbys. $t Wee Willie Winkie.

                From the preface, title page or other sources we know these stories are by many people but they are unnamed, therefore when several titles are in one volume they are separated by  period-space 
                If most volumes have enumeration but one (or a few) does not, put  brackets around the vol. number as determined from other sources.  If all or most volumes do not have numbering, the items should be cataloged separately.

One author

        505 0   A. Theory. Principles of Mossbauer spectroscopy ;  Mineral magnetism ; Electronic equilibria and   electron delocalization -- B. Practice. B1, Geochemistry. Oxides and oxyhydrites ; Mossbauer effects of aluminium substitution in hematite and geothite ; Spinels ; Ortho- and ring silicates ;  Garnets ; Chain silicates ; Phyllosilicates -- B2, Environmental studies and archaeology. Environmental  and CEMS studies ; Archaeological studies.

                A title by one author, therefore space-semicolon-space separates each title in the table of contents

                The table of contents indicates major sections A and B (which happen to correlate to parts of the series the book is in); despite the fact that chapter numbers are not to be included  (and the individual ones are not), the A and B are included  to clarify the major sections of the table of contents. 

        505 0   Abt. 2. Andere Orchesterwerke (3 v.). Bd. 1, Ouverturen und Wellingtons Seig ; Bd. 2, Balletmusik ; Bd. 3, Gratulationsmenuett Orchestertanze -- Abt. 3. Werke fur ein und mehrere Soloinstrumente mit Orchester ( v.). Bd. 1, Konzert C-dur fur klavier,  violine und violoncello mit begleitung des orchesters opus 56 ; Bd. 2, Klavierkonzerte I.  Kritscher bericht  ; Bd. 4, Werke fur violine und orchester -- Abt. 4. Kammermusik mit Klavier ( v.).  Bd. 1, Klavierquintett, Klavierquartette  ; Bd. 3, Klaviertrios II. 

                Following Abt. 2. is name of a group of volumes or series within the larger set. This may be followed by indication of number of volumes in parentheses. The name of the group is followed by a period-space. Precede the title of the individual titles or subseries by a full stop (1.6A1). 
                If a subseries has an alphabetic or numeric designation and no title, give the designation. If such a subseries has a title as well as a designation, give the title after the designation; precede this title by a comma-space (example in 1.6H2) 
                         -- therefore when a volume title or sections in a table of contents have subsections: 
                        * follow the main section title with a period-space 
                        * give the volume designation followed by a comma 
                        * separate each title within the main title by space-semicolon-space if by the same author, or period-space if by  different authors 
                        * separate each volume or main section title with space-dash-space

Sound recording 
        505 0    Fourth millennium / Henry Brant (9 min.) -- Music for brass quintet (14 min.) 
                Add duration to contents notes for sound recordings

Rules for Contents Notes in Other Formats

Maps. 3.7B18. (make informal notes for collections). List the contents of an item,, either selectively or fully, including: insets; maps, etc., printed on the verso of a map, etc., sheet; illustrations, etc.  Make notes on maps, insets, etc., on the recto before those on the verso of a sheet. Give the scale of insets, etc., if it is consistent. If the insets, etc. are numero8us and/or minor, make a note in general terms.

Manuscripts. 4.7B18.  List the contents of an item, either selectively or fully, if it is considered necessary to show the presence of material not implied by the rest of the description; to stress items of particular importance; or to list the contents of a collection. When recording titles formally, take them from the head of the part to which they refer rather than from contents lists, etc. -- [not often used; usually this information is included in summary]

Music. 5.7B18. List the separately titled works contained in an item.  Add to the titles opus numbers (if necessary to identify the works named) and statements of responsibility not already included in the title and statement of responsibility area. If the works in a collection are all in the same musical form and that form is named in the title proper of the item, do not repeat the musical form in the titles in the contents note.

Sound recordings. 6.7B18. List the titles of individual works contained on a sound recording. Add to each title statements of responsibility not included in the title and statement of responsibility area and the duration of the piece.

        Motion pictures. 7.7B18. List the titles of individual works contained in, or the parts of, a motion picture of videorecording. Add to each title any statements of responsibility not included in the title and statement of responsibility area, and the duration if known.

Graphic materials. 8.7B18. List the titles of individually names parts of a graphic item. Add to each title any statements of responsibility not included in the title and statement of responsibility area, and the number of cards, frames, slides, etc. when appropriate.

Computer files. 9.7B18. List the parts of a file.

Three-dimensional artefacts and realia. 10.7B18. List the individually named parts of an object. Make notes on additional or partial contents when appropriate.

        Microforms. 11.7B18. See 2.7B18.

Serials. 12.7B18. Give details of inserts, other serials included in the serial, and important special items with specific titles, unless they are catalogued separately.  Do not give contents notes for monographic series. [505 will not be valid until format integration; current rule definition does not allow for much - may change??]

(see LCRI and Notes in the catalog record for interpretations)