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Serials Workflow: Holdings Records

Constructing a Holdings Statement

The holdings statement for serials is recorded in the 866 field. All holdings statements require indicators 41 in the 866 field. For information on this field and indicator definitions, please see the Library of Congress MARC documentation for textual holdings at

Holdings statements should ALWAYS REFLECT WHAT THE LIBRARY OWNS. Holdings statements do not indicate what we do not yet own. The 866 field is a general statement of what the library currently owns and does not future-cast. Each time an issue is received by the library, update the end of the holdings statement by deleting the previous final issue held and adding the number and/or year of the new final issue held. Do not list each issue in a holdings statement. Individual issues are described in the Item Description field.

  • 866 41 $a 2001/2002-2003/2004
  • 866 41 $a v.13 (1996)-v.20:no.6 (2003)


Do not capitalize enumeration abbreviations. Add the year when present on the piece (not necessarily the publication date). The full form of the year is used, entered in parentheses. For combined years, both years are entered with a slash between. For second level enumeration, some titles use numbers and some use months. Always use what is on the piece. If the publication uses months, enter the month as it is shown on the piece. Exception: for Depository materials, use June, July, and Sept per Five College Policy agreement.

NOTE: For non-English language serials, always use the abbreviations for the foreign term that is on the piece, such as tome, band or fascicle.

Enumerations used in holdings statements include, but may not be limited to:

  • v. (volume)
  • no. (number)
  • pt. (part)
  • fasc. (fascicle)
  • t. (tome)
  • bd. (band)

Series Designations

The series designation will precede the volumes included in that series.

  • new ser. (new series)
  • ser.2 (series 2 (etc.))

There may be multiple series designations in one title. An enumeration statement with a series designation looks like this:

  • 866 41 $a ser.4:v.1 (1958)-ser.4:v.5 (1962)
  • 866 41 $a v.12 (1959)-ser2:v.3 (1982)

Incomplete Holdings

Do not use the 866 field to show all issues held by the library. The holdings statement is a general statement. Incomplete holdings are reflected in the item record. Ideally, a title is fully linked and each title has volume information in the Item Description field. Use the subfield z for a public note to show that a publication has “incomplete holdings” when the statement does not show gaps in holdings.

An incomplete holdings statement looks like this:

  • 866 41 $a v.15 (1971)-v.17 (1973), v.20 (1976)-v.22 (1978)
  • 866 41 $a fasc.12-fasc.21 $z Incomplete holdings

If you come across an old title with a 952 field in the holdings record, this field must be removed. Please see instructions on Fixing Field 952 Incomplete Holdings information.

Holdings Statements vs. Item Descriptions

The Item Description field in Aleph should be used when linking to describe individual items. Do not use the holdings statement to list each volume or individual runs of volumes unless specifically determined to be useful for patrons. Use the same descriptors as appear on the piece, in terms of enumeration. Under the General Information (1) tab:

  • Description: v.24 (1989)
  • Description: v.3:Winter (2002)
  • Description: bd.488
  • Description: 1999/2000

Do not use OPAC or internal note fields in the item record.

Supplements & Indexes

If a title contains supplements or indexes, this should be indicated in the Item Description field. Add “Suppl.” for a stand alone supplement or “+ Suppl.” if it is bound with a regular issue. Indexes should receive the same treatment, adding “Index” for a stand alone index in the item description, or “+ Index” if it is bound with a regular issue.

Occasionally, it might be beneficial to mention a specific supplement or index in the holdings record. Enter supplement information in an 867 field with indicators 41. Enter index information in an 868 field with indicators 40. There is no need to add a public note for “Supplement” or “Index” because the system automatically supplies these in the public Discovery view.

If you come across an old title with supplement or index information in the 952 field in the holdings record, this field must be removed. Please see instructions on converting this information into the appropriate 867 or 868 fields.

Further Notes of Interest

If a title has ceased publication, this is denoted in the bib record. Do not record in a field 952. Go into OCLC and export the current bib record to reflect this. See instructions for Ceased & Cancelled Titles.

If a title has been cancelled by the library, this is no longer denoted in the holdings record. Do not use field 590 in any holdings record.

Contact: Ann Kardos

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