PROPOSAL NO.: 2002-10

DATE: May 8, 2002

NAME: Defining URI subfields in field 506 (Restrictions on Access Note) and field 540 (Terms Governing Use and Reproduction Note) in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

SOURCE: Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress; National Archives of Canada

SUMMARY: This paper proposes adding $u to field 506 (Restrictions on access note) and field 540 (Terms governing use and reproduction note) in the Bibliographic Format in order to provide a direct link between bibliographic records and addressable electronic files containing current information concerning restrictions imposed on access, use and/or reproduction of materials described in the records.

KEYWORDS: Restrictions on access note; Terms governing use and reproduction note; Uniform resource identifier; URI; Subfield $u in field 506 (BD); Subfield $u in field 540 (BD)

RELATED: 99-08 June 1999; 2000-06 Jan. 2000


5/8/02 - Made available to the MARC 21 community for discussion.

06/17/02 - Results of the MARC Advisory Committee discussion - Approved.

07/11/02 - Results of LC/NLC review - Approved.

PROPOSAL No. 2002-10: Defining URI subfield $u in fields 506 and 540 in Bibliographic Format


The MARC Advisory Committee has considered a number of papers concerning the definition of URI subfields in fields other than the 856 field (Electronic Location and Access). URI subfields have been defined when records can be enhanced by making an outside link to a web resource that includes data appropriate to a defined MARC field. Reasons for defining subfield $u in additional fields have included the fact that it facilitates maintaining current information (it is more efficient to update the linked data than numerous bibliographic records). In addition, subfield $u helps control the size of record; repetitious, often lengthy data can be placed elsewhere.

Proposals to define subfield $u include No. 99-08, which in part proposed defining subfield $u in field 555 (Cumulative Index/Finding Aids Note) to record the URI of an electronic finding aid and in field 583 (Action Note) to record a link to an action note. Proposal no. 2000-06 requested the definition of subfield $u in field 505 (Formatted Contents Note) to electronically link to tables of contents; in field 514 (Data Quality Note) to point to a producer's webpage for up-to-date metadata regarding the quality of the data set constituting a cartographic item; in field 520 (Summary, etc.) to point to a producer's webpage for up-to-date summaries, etc.; in field 530 (Additional Physical Form Available Note) to point to the online version of a journal; in field 545 (Biographical or Historical Data) to point to additional/extended biographical/historical data); and in field 552 (Entity and Attribute Information Note) to point to a producer's webpage for up-to-date metadata documenting the entity/attribute value of the data set for a cartographic item. All of these were approved.

In these discussions, participants agreed that a URL should not stand alone in the field, but that some mechanism is necessary to explain the link, either in the form of a display constant associated with an indicator or a subfield containing explanatory textual information.

Other fields recently identified as benefitting from the ability to link to a URL are field 506 (Restrictions on access note) and field 540 (Terms governing use and reproduction note) in the Bibliographic Format.


2.1 Field definitions

Field 506 contains information about restrictions imposed on access to materials described in a bibliographic record.Field 506 is defined as follows:

First indicator - undefined
Second indicator undefined
$a - Terms governing access (NR)
$b - Jurisdiction (R)
$c - Physical access provisions (R)
$d - Authorized users (R)
$e - Authorization (R)
$3 - Materials specified (NR)
$5 - Institution to which field applies (NR)
$6 - Linkage (NR)
$8 - Field link and sequence number (R)

Field 540 contains information about terms governing the use and reproduction of materials once access has been provided. The field includes, but is not limited to, copyrights, film rights, trade restrictions, etc., that restrict the right to reproduce, exhibit, fictionalize, quote, etc., material described in the bibliographic record. Field 540 is defined as follows:

First indicator - undefined
Second indicator - undefined
Subfield $a - Terms governing use and reproduction (NR)
Subfield $b - Jurisdiction (NR)
Subfield $c - Authorization (NR)
Subfield $d - Authorized users (NR)
Subfield $3 - Materials specified (NR)
Subfield $5 - Institution to which field applies (NR)
Subfield $6 - Linkage (NR)
Subfield $8 - Field link and sequence number (R)

2.2 Subfield $u in fields 506 and 540 in the Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress

The Prints & Photographs Division uses fields 506 and 540 to alert patrons to possible restrictions imposed on access, reproduction and publication of digital and non-digital items in its collections. The division also has hardcopy reference sheets with fuller information about restrictions on specific collections as well as general information on how to determine the rights status for different kinds of still images. Field 540 in older records contains summaries of access restrictions and rights status with a referral to the relevant printed reference sheet.

506 ## $a Serve original by appointment only.
506 ## $a Restricted access: Materials extremely fragile; $c Served by appointment only.
540 ## $a No known restrictions on publication.
540 ## $a RESTRICTED: Reproduction may be restricted. See LC P&P Restrictions Sheet.

In 2001, reference staff began to post all access and rights statements on the web, through the Prints & Photographs Reading Room Rights and Restriction Information page. Staff requested that bibliographic records include the URLs for these statements to allow patrons to more easily determine whether an image can be reproduced and/or published and under what conditions. Catalogers would continue to include a brief general note in the $a subfield of field 540, but a reference to an URL in the $u subfield would provide access to the full statements, making it unnecessary to place repetitive, lengthy and often complicated restriction and rights statements in each record. In addition this would facilitate maintaining data: if restrictions or rights changed, only a single file containing the statement would need updating.

Inclusion of an URL in the 540 $u subfield would make it possible to encode records for direct online linking across multiple environments. The division's records are available in the Library of Congress' online catalog (ILS), RLIN, and OCLC, as well as American Memory and the Prints & Photographs Division's Online Catalog (PPOC). Selected sets of records are available in cooperative digital library projects, including the Cultural Materials Initiative and the Open Archives Initiative. Each year CDS (Cataloging Distribution Service) distributes approximately 5000 new records.

2.3 Subfield $u in fields 506 and 540 at the National Archives of Canada

The National Archives of Canada also uses the 506 and 540 fields for access or rights information. The Rules for Archival Description (RAD) recommends that notes containing information on access and rights be included in bibliographic records so that users will know whether there are any restrictions on their ability to access or use materials described in the records.

The Archives have chosen to put a portion of access and restrictions information relating to items described in bibliographic records in PDF (Portable Document files) that provide fuller, more detailed information than the information contained in note fields in bibliographic records. This information changes over time. It is much easier as well as cost/time efficient to update a single file as opposed to making changes to large quantities of records that may form part of extensive and/or complex hierarchies consisting of different levels of description (e.g. collection, series, file, item, etc.). It facilitates maintaining current, accurate data on access and restrictions. In addition, having a link to an addressable file benefits users; it is easier to browse through records that do not contain lengthy, repetitive access/restrictions notes.

2.4 Definition of URL subfield in 506 and 540 fields

Given the use to which these two institutions have made of the $u subfield in fields 506 and 540 it is probable that other institutions who use these field and have complicated, lengthy statements governing the access, use and reproduction of items in their collections would find the subfield useful as well. In Canada, the proposed definition of subfield $u in fields 506 and 540 has been endorsed by the Canadian Committee on Archival Description.

This proposal does not include a request for an additional subfield for display text because some type of statement of terms governing use and reproduction is always expected to be present in subfield $a in both fields. In addition, subfield $u in both fields 506 and 540 may contain the same URL if the linking file contains information that would pertain to both these fields.


Examples from the National Archives of Canada

Current usage of field 506:

506 $3Textual and electronic records:$aClosed until the death of the creator, except to his children, as named in the Restricted Access File.
506 $3Photographs, drawings, video, and sound recordings:$aOpen.

Proposed usage of subfield $u in field 506:

506 $aSome restrictions apply. Consult restricted access file for restriction details:$uhttp://[URI]

Current usage of field 540:

540 $3Photographs:$aFor study and research purposes the National Archives will provide only colour or black and white photographs in 8x10 format. The photographs will be blindstamped and embossed. Publication, commercial or any other uses for photographs in copyright: Contact Mr. Karsh's representative: Comstock Photofile Ltd., Suite 401, 49 Bathurst St., Toronto, Ont. M5V 2P2. Tel.: (416) 504-9177. Publication, commercial or any other uses for photographs where copyright has expired: The National Archives will provide only colour or black and white photographs in 8x10 format. For exhibition loans contact: Director, Archives Preservation Division, 395 Wellington St., Ottawa, K1A 0N3.

Proposed usage of subfield $u in field 540:

540 $3Photographs:$aSome restrictions apply to reproduction or publication. For details, see:$uhttp://[URI]

Examples from the Prints & Photographs Division

100 1# $aBrumfield, William Craft, $d1944- $ephotographer.
245 10 $aChurch of Zosima, Savvaty, and Herman (1900), with Legation of Solovetskii-Transfiguration Monastery (19th century), west view, Arkhangelsk, Russia $h[graphic].
260 ## $c1999.
300 ## $a1 slide : $bcolor ; $c35 mm.
500 ## $aTitle, date, and place from photographer's inventory.
506 ## $aDigital images provided in preference to originals as per Divisional preservational policy.
540 ## $aReproduction is restricted through October 2014. See Restrictions Statement for more information: $u

245 00 $a14th and Penna. Ave. looking west from 13th St., June 1904 [Washington, D.C.] $h[graphic].
260 ## $c1904 June.
300 ## $a1 photolithograph(?).
500 ## $aThis record contains unverified data from caption card.
540 ## $aRights status not evaluated. For general information see "Copyright and Other Restrictions..."


In the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format:

Define subfield $u (Uniform Resource Identifier) in field 506 (Restrictions on access note) and field 540 (Terms governing use and reproduction note).

$u - Uniform Resource Identifier (R)
The Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), for example a URL or URN, which provides electronic access data in a standard syntax. This data can be used for automated access to an electronic item using one of the Internet protocols.

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