Punctuation "cheat sheet"

Section III: Punctuation in MARC Holdings Statements


Punctuation chart
Input conventions

< >angle bracketsGives the number of physical pieces of an item when this differs from the number of volumes. Also used for "snakes" (subseries classed with main series) to show main series numbering. Precede the first angle bracket with a space.v.1-4 < on 4 microfiches >

n.F.:Heft 1(1945)-n.F.:Heft 10(1960) < Bd.3,Bd.5-6,Bd.9,Bd.13,Bd.16,Bd.18-20,Bd.25 in series >

Special Collections example:
t.1-2 < in 1 v. > t.3-4 < in 1 v. >
one blank spaceSeparates different data elements in an area. Used before: angle brackets, plus signs, and quotation marks. Used after: plus signs and quotation marks.v.1 < on 3 microfilm reels >

1 v. + "Teacher's guide"

2 v. + 1 portfolio

"Statistical supplement" 2 computer discs
:colonSeparates two levels of numbering or chronology.v.1:pt.3


nuova serie:v.1:n.1


2003:quarter 1

1o(1998:luglio 7-9)
,commaIndicates a gap in holdings.12,15,20


=equal signSeparates alternative numbering schemes.v.2:no.5=fasc.15
/forward slashIndicates combined numbering or combined chronology.v.1/2


-hyphenIndicates a range of holdings without gaps. Also used to show open holdings for serials.v.1-3



( )parenthesesSeparates numbering and chronology when these data are recorded together.v.1(1983)


ano 2:no.5(1991:mayo)-ano 4:no.3(1993:abr.)=fasc.15-52
+plus signSeparates two basic bibliographic units that are issued together. Also separates a basic bibliographic unit from a secondary bibliographic unit.1 v. + 1 computer disc

"Teacher's guide" 1 v. + 1 audio cassette

1 v. + 1 portfolio
" "quotation marksEncloses the name of a unit."Index"

"User's guide"


1 computer disc + "User's guide"
;semicolonIndicates a non-gap break in holdings. Non-gap breaks occur when volumes are published out of numerical or chronological order, or when the publisher changes the system of numbering.v.1-4;v.6

Heft 1-3;Nr.1-16

[ ]square bracketsIndicates incomplete holdings. Used only for serials when the holdings are too scattered to record in detail. Used only in Level "z" holdings statements. (local SUL practice only) Level "z" example: [1-3, 1965-67]
. period, space, spaceUsed before and after square brackets (see above) when the holdings statement is mixed with regular, detailed holdings. Used only for serials. Used only in Level "z" holdings statements. (local SUL practice only) Level "z" example:
1-3, 1965-67. [6-9, 1970-73]

Input conventions:
  • Do not input diacritics in a MARC holdings statement.
  • Abbreviate captions according to the list of approved abbreviations in RDA Appendix B.
  • For numbered items, captions always precede the numbering.
  • When recording enumeration and chronology, record chronology adjacent to its enumeration:
  • Always give years as four digits.
Created: 2000
Last updated: September 28, 2011
Last modified: July 3, 2012
MDU, Stanford University

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