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440 Field is now obsolete

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Many of you have already heard that MARC field 440 has been made obsolete. What this means is that you must now use a combination of the 490 field and an 8XX field for a traced series.
*The 490 field with a first indicator of 0 continues to mean that the series was taken from the item in hand, and the series is not traced
*The 490 field with a first indicator of 1 now means that the series is traced in an appropriate 8XX field (800-830). The series statement in the 490 field is taken from the item in hand, but it is traced as given in the 8XX field.

The PCC (Program for Cooperative Cataloging) has already recommended implementation of the change, and it is already reflected in MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data. However, OCLC has not yet implemented it. Also, OCLC is still deliberating whether or not it will do an automatic conversion of the existing 440 fields in the WorldCat database.

You may implement the change at any time at your library. And, if you would like to convert all the existing 440 fields in your catalog to a 490/830 combination, there is a handy macro that was created just for you. Walter Nickeson (University of Rochester) has posted his “Make 830 macro” on his macro site.

For a bit more information on this change, see the article entitled “Recent Changes in MARC Fields for Series” in the January 2009 issue of the MINITEX/OCLC Mailing. You can also find the PCC guidelines for Field 440 on their Website.

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