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Machine-generated Contents Notes

On February 1, 2005, the Library of Congress began enriching bibliographic records with scanned table of contents data in field 505, adding information that was previously available only via 856 links.

This BEAT project is adding full text table of contents (TOC) data to catalog records - - information that was previously available only through links from within catalog records to LC's web-based TOCs for those items. In addition to English language materials, the project has recently expanded to include items in German.

Since the scanned table of contents come in a wide variety of formats and structures, some errors are to be expected in the placement and configuration of the 505 textual strings. Space, hyphen, hyphen, space will be inserted after each line break within the table of contents. Chapter and page numbers will appear as captured from the scanned table of contents images. The 505 data will not undergo review for punctuation.

LC records with existing 856 links to table of contents texts will be batched processed, modified and redistributed until most of the records containing links from the 856 to LC’s web-based dTOC (digital table of contents) records are enhanced. The 856 links to the dTOCs will remain in the records. The original TOC data was generated from information captured from the scanned table of contents images from books. Over the past few years BEAT has created web-based TOC in its digital TOC (dTOC) project for almost 30,000 books, and the MG 505 has begun by adding the texts from those files to the catalog records for those titles. The 505 data will be generated initially from that table of contents information and supplied by computer program. It will be preceded by the legend: “Machine-generated contents note:” The 505 indicators for these machine-generated notes will be set to '8' (No display constant generated) and blank (Basic; single occurrence of subfield $a).

The project is ongoing and will add TOC for both new titles (some source data is also from digital items) and over time data from other BEAT TOC projects as well. One section of the project is being devoted to digitizing and adding data from the Library's Local History and Genealogical collections. To date almost 10,000 TOC have been added to the 505 field in LC catalog records. A few sample LCCNs include 00010582, 00013089, 00048663, and 00108641

This effort should make table of contents information more readily available within MARC records and increase access to this valuable data. Questions or comments regarding the scope or data content of these records may be directed to:

John D. Byrum, Jr., Chief,
Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-4380
telephone: (202) 707-5196
This page last updated June 16, 2005

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