I agree wholeheartedly with Bob on this – both on the cataloging practice in question and on his belief that our cataloging culture needs to get out of the ‘right/wrong’ mindset.

And thus I raise my metaphorical eyebrows at the earlier pondering as to whether PCC needs to decide on a set policy on this particular question.


Yes, there are some things that are ‘wrong’ cataloging – erroneously transcribing the title, misidentifying the publisher, etc.  But on issues where RDA allows for judgment as to (in effect) how much additional data to record, we need to make our judgments and move on.  It’s OK if we don’t all agree on some of the detail, and if records reflect a mix of ‘judgment.’

I instruct beginning and less-experienced catalogers, and this is what they constantly struggle with; sometimes, what I have to tell them is simply to get over the struggle.


Timothy J. Carlton

Senior Instructor

Cooperative and Instructional Programs (COIN)

Library of Congress


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The views expressed here are my own and I do not speak officially for the Library of Congress.




From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Robert Maxwell
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 8:03 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Copyright, RDA, MARC 264: both second indicator 1 and 4 or 1 only?


I’d like to remind everyone that the original question was:


As I understand it, if the resource being cataloged has a copyright date but no publication date, the practice is to place the year in brackets in the 264 _1 $c and then to create a 264 _4 $c with a copyright symbol and the date. Then in the fixed fields, the DtSt (date type) should be "t" and the year is placed in both Date1 and Date2, like so:


DtSt: t

Dates: 2014,2014

264 _1 $a Eugene, Oregon : $b Pickwick Publications, $c [2014]

264 _4 $a ©2014


This is what I've seen in RDA records on OCLC, and this is also what Marcive does when upgrading records to RDA. However, the LC-PCC interpretation (link

below) seems to contradict this practice.


I don’t think the point has been made that LC-PCC PS gives instructions for dealing with cases where there is no explicit publication date on an item. It is not about whether to record the copyright date separately. Point 1 in the PS, “Supply a date of publication that corresponds to the copyright date, in square brackets, if it seems reasonable to assume that date is a likely publication date,” which covers this situation, does not forbid adding more, i.e., recording the copyright date element in a second 264. Its purpose is only to give guidance to the cataloger about how to decide what date to supply when a copyright date and no publication date is found on a resource.


Any policy statement forbidding also recording the copyright date element when the publication date element has already been recorded would have to be at 2.11. The PS at 2.11 neither forbids nor requires recording the copyright date element in such cases, leaving it up to cataloger judgment (and by the way, that’s fine! We’ve got to get out of the cataloging culture that wants to be told what’s the “right” and “wrong” answer to every question). LC-PCC PS does not contradict the practice the original question noted.




Robert L. Maxwell
Ancient Languages and Special Collections Cataloger
6728 Harold B. Lee Library
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602

"We should set an example for all the world, rather than confine ourselves to the course which has been heretofore pursued"--Eliza R. Snow, 1842.


From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Rebecca Culbertson
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 2:29 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Copyright, RDA, MARC 264: both second indicator 1 and 4 or 1 only?




Recently I became a member of a HathiTrust cataloging support group and believe me copyright dates ARE important.  I was very happy to see it set off in its own “place” rather than having it mushed together as it was in the past.  I also just checked with a knowledgeable friend of mine and here is what he had to say:


“264 4 may not be “required” but whether 264 4 is “necessary” is a matter of opinion.  Recording copyright dates may have more much to do with future preservation activities, e.g., ability to select records from the database that represent items that could be preserved because they are in the public domain or have a certain copyright date, etc.  It’s a data element that can be identified by its own coding which is a good thing.  It’s more than just some descriptive cataloging trivia.”


Becky Culbertson

California Digital Library

(speaking for myself, not the PCC Standards Committee—but I will bring this up there)


From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Dickerson, Eugene H
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 12:40 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Copyright, RDA, MARC 264: both second indicator 1 and 4 or 1 only?


Hi, Steve.


This is an example of “oh never mind” that has been part of the RDA implementation.


During the U.S. RDA test and prior to implementation, it will drilled into everyone’s head that unlike AACR2, RDA considers date of publication and copyright date as two separate data elements, which is OK, because they aren’t really the same thing.


In early attempts to use RDA with MARC, we ended up with dates in the 260 subfield c that looked like this:  $c [2014], ©2014.

This looked strange and didn’t make a lot of sense.


Then, the a ha moment was the discovery of the 264 field that would allow for recording the publication date and copyright dates as separate elements, so we ended up with:

264   1    $c [2014]

264   4    $c ©2014

and then we stopped using the 260 field in RDA records.


The “oh never mind” moment came when someone decided we don’t really need to record both publication date and copyright date if they’re both the same date or if we’re inferring the publication date from the copyright date.  Thus, we end up with:

264  1   $c [2014]


I also call this the “everything old is new again” moment because we’ve in essence gone back to the AACR2 practice of inferring the publication date from the copyright.


After all that training of people to use the 264 field instead of the 260 field, we’ve ended up in a place where we could have continued using the 260 field, as the practice is now the same as it was under AACR2, if you follow “Option 2”.


As with AACR2, we have ended up with over 90% of the publication dates recorded in square brackets, which doesn’t mean anything to anyone except a cataloger. (and even then, there’s the ambiguity of inferred date vs. supplied date). The average user has no idea why the date is in square brackets or why it isn’t.  The average user probably does understand that ©2014 is a copyright date because it’s preceded by the copyright symbol.


I’m not sure I understand the perceived advantage in inferring a publication date when the resource doesn’t state one explicitly.  If the resource has just a copyright date, why isn’t it sufficient to record the copyright date identified as such? 


I think that the confusion is now arising because the training materials featured “Option 1” and then “Option 2” emerged, at least in PCC, and now non-PCC catalogers are seeing both and not understanding why it’s being done two different ways.  There may even be catalogers who see a record done with “Option 2” and think it’s wrong, so they’re changing it to “Option 1” which they believe based on the training materials is the correct way.


I don’t think that Option 2 has been widely communicated outside PCC. It looks like it’s not even completely clear to all PCC catalogers as to which is preferred.


I think that the desire was to streamline or simplify, but as a lyric in one of Whitney Houston’s songs says “you find you’ve only wound up with a mess”.






Eugene Dickerson

Team Leader for Cataloging

Ralph J. Bunche Library

U.S. Department of State

Washington, DC

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(202) 647-2191 (voice)



This email is UNCLASSIFIED.


From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Stephen Early
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 2:23 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [PCCLIST] Copyright, RDA, MARC 264: both second indicator 1 and 4 or 1 only?


This is a current topic on RDA-L, which I would really like to have confirmed by PCC:

Regarding the proper PCC endorsed way to record date of publication in MARC when the _only_ date available is copyright, which option is correct and  where is it documented? (example below cribbed and modified from the one posted at RDA-L)


Option 1


DtSt: t

Dates: 2014,2014

264 _1 $a Eugene, Oregon : $b Pickwick Publications, $c [2014]

264 _4 $a ©2014




Option 2


DtSt: s

Dates: 2014

264 _1 $a Eugene, Oregon : $b Pickwick Publications, $c [2014]


I have a 2013 AUTOCAT email from an LC employee claiming that the Option 2 is preferred and 2013 personal emails from catalogers at a PCC level former RDA-test institution strongly claiming that Option 1 is preferred.


And I now see a recent email at RDA-L also advocating Option 2. But I would still like PCC confirmation.



Stephen T. Early


Center for Research Libraries

6050 S. Kenwood

Chicago, IL  60637

773-955-4545 x326

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CRL website: www.crl.edu