Home | Resources | Services | Hosting | Publications | Collaboration | Joining CERL | About CERL |

Provenance data in MARC records


  • Tony Curwen and Gunilla Jonsson, 'Provenance and the Itinerary of the book: recording provenance data in on-line catalogues', in: CERL Papers VII: Imprints and owners: Recording the cultural geography of Europe (David Shaw, ed.) : Papers presented on 10 November 2006 at the CERL Seminar hosted by the National Széchényi Library, Budapest. (London, Consortium of European Research Libraries, 2007).


The table below shows the fields used to record various types of provenance-related data in UNIMARC and MARC21 to identify any significant discrepancies that might affect mapping between the two formats for the Heritage of the Printed Book database.

1. The Provenance Note

A note containing provenance information is normally tagged as 317 in UNIMARC and 561 in MARC21.

317 – Provenance Note (R)561 – Ownership and Custodial History (R)
Indicators: blankFirst Indicator – Privacy
# - No information provided
0 – Private
1 – Not Private
Second Indictor – Undefined
$a – Text of note (NR)$a – History (NR)
$u – Uniform Resource Identifier (R)
$3 – Materials specified (NR)
$5 – Institution and copy to which field applies (NR) $5 – Institution to which field applies
$6 – Interfield linking data (NR)$6 – Linkage (NR)
$8 – Field link and sequence number (R)


  • The lack in UNIMARC of an indicator value to designate whether the information in the note is considered ‘private’ or ‘not private’ is not significant, in the context of the HPB. Use of the indicator value ‘blank’ or ‘1’ will insure that the note is displayed in OCLC’s various interfaces.
  • UNIMARC does not make use of the concept of a subfield ($3 in MARC21) to indicate that the information in the note applies to a specific portion of the resource being described.
  • Field 561 MARC 21 does not contain a $u to allow recording of a URL that could link to an external description of the provenance of an item. It has been requested that it be added.
  • Field 561 is not currently indexed in OCLC WorldCat or the Heritage of the Printed Book database - this is under development.

2. Place Name Access related to Provenance

Both UNIMARC and MARC21 provide ways to code place-related information in a structured way. UNIMARC uses field 621 that is specifically designed (with CERL’s support) for provenance-related place and date information. The ‘place’ aspect of that information can be mapped to either field 662 in MARC21. There is no easily recognized counterpart for the ‘date’ aspect or for the aspects recorded in subfields $e, $g and $h.

621 – Place and Date of Provenance (R)662 – Subject Added Entry – Hierarchical Place Name (R)
Indicator 1: Type of data First Indicator – Undefined
# - Publication or production
1 – Performance
2 – First performance
3 – Recording
4 – Live recording
5 – Remastering
0 – Not specified
Indicator 2: Presence of data on source Second Indicator – Undefined
# - Not applicable / unknown
0 – Data not present on source
1 – Data present on source
$a – Country (Nation state) or Larger entity country (NR) $a – Country or larger entity (R)
$b – State or Province, etc. (NR) $b – First-order political jurisdiction (NR)
$c – Intermediate Political Jurisdiction (NR)$c – Intermediate political jurisdiction (R)
$d – City, etc. (NR)$d – City (R)
$e – Building, vehicle, etc. (R)
$e – Relator term (R)
$f – Date 1 (NR)
$g – Season (NR)
$h – Occasion (NR)
$i – Date 2 (NR)
$k – Subsection of city, etc. (R) $f – City subsection (R)
$m – Other geographic regions or features (R) $g – Other nonjurisdictional geographic region and feature (R)
$n – Extraterrestrial area (R) $h – Extraterrestrial area (R)
$o – Geographical areas such as world, hemisphere, continent: larger area than country (R) (use $a – Country or larger entity)
$2 – System code (NR)$2 – Source of heading or term (NR)
$3 – Authority record number (NR)$0 – Authority record control number (R)
$4 – Relator code (R)
$5 – Institution and copy to which the field applies
$6 – Linkage (NR)
$8 – Field link and sequence number (R)


  • Field 662 is not currently indexed in OCLC WorldCat or the Heritage of the Printed Book database.
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience from it.
 resources/provenance/marc.txt · Last modified: 2012/08/31 09:57 by



Recent changes RSS feed Valid XHTML 1.0 Driven by DokuWiki