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DATE: May 27, 2016

NAME: Defining Subfields $e and $4 in Field 752 of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format

SOURCE: ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS)

SUMMARY: This discussion paper presents the need for subfields $e (Relator term) and $4 (Relator code) in Field 752 (Added Entry-Hierarchical Place Name) of the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format.

KEYWORDS: Field 752 (BD); Added Entry-Hierarchical Place Name (BD); Subfield $e, in field 752 (BD); Relator term (BD); Subfield $4, in field 752 (BD); Relator Code (BD)


05/27/16 – Made available to the MARC community for discussion.

06/26/16 – Results of MARC Advisory Committee discussion: The paper was converted to a proposal and approved. It was agreed that the definition of subfield $2 (Source of heading or term) in field 752 should be amended to mirror the definition of subfield $2 (Source of heading or term) in field 751 (Added Entry-Geographic Name) for the sake of consistency.

08/10/16 - Results of MARC Steering Group review - Agreed with the MAC decision to convert to and approve as a proposal.

Discussion Paper No. 2016-DP21: Defining Subfields $e and $4 in Field 752


Field 752 is currently defined in the Bibliographic format as follows:

Field Definition and Scope:
Added entry in which the entry element is a hierarchical form of place name that is related to a particular attribute of the described item, e.g., the place of publication for a rare book. For display, a dash (--) may be generated to separate the subelements of the place name, e.g., Canada
-- British Columbia -- Vancouver.

This kind of added entry is assigned according to various cataloging rules to give access to a bibliographic record through a hierarchical form of a place name related to a particular attribute (e.g., for newspapers, the name of the community served; for rare books, the place of publication or printing).

Field 751 in the Bibliographic format serves a similar function: an added entry in which the entry element is a geographic name in direct order (rather than the hierarchical order of field 752).

The two examples that follow are nearly equivalent:

751 ## $a Lyon (France), $e publication place.

752 ## $a France $d Lyon.

In addition to the difference in place name order -- direct versus hierarchical -- field 751 provides the following subfields, which are lacking in field 752:

$e - Relator term
Designation of the relationship between a geographic name and the described materials (e.g., event place, publication place, etc.).

$4 - Relator code
MARC code that specifies the relationship between a geographic name and the described materials. More than one relator code may be used if the geographic name has more than one function. Code from: MARC Code List for Relators.

Field 752 lacks a mechanism to specify the relationship between the place and the described materials.

This shortcoming was partially highlighted in Proposal 2004-07: "Applying Field 752 for Different Purposes in the MARC 21 Bibliographic Format". As outcome, field 662 was created to record hierarchical approaches to geographic coverage of items.


The presence of subfield $e and subfield $4 in field 751 sets the logical precedent for definition of the same subfields in field 752. The requirements are identical. The addition of these subfields would enable us to record a related place while making the necessary distinction between places of publication, distribution, manufacture, and production (or name of community served, for newspapers).

The need to record a place as a related entity is most prevalent in the rare materials cataloging community, where it is common practice to record a normalized place of publication, manufacture, etc. (this data complements the transcribed place in the Publication Statement, etc.). Place as related entity (beyond a place as subject) is also an important feature in the forthcoming FRBR Library Reference Model (see: “Introducing the FRBR Library Reference Model”). When this change proposed in the FRBR LRM is eventually included in RDA, use of the 752 field may increase, and a mechanism by which to record the relationship type will become all the more necessary.

MARC relator terms and codes are already established for the following:

Distribution place [dbp]
Manufacture place [mfp]
Production place [prp]
Publication place [pup]

There is not yet a MARC relator term or code to indicate the name of community served for newspapers.


Example 1

752 ## $a France $d Lyon, $e production place.


752 ## $a France $d Lyon. $4 prp

Example 2

752 ## $a England $d London, $e publication place.
752 ## $a Scotland $d Edinburgh, $e manufacture place.


752 ## $a England $d London. $4 pup
752 ## $a Scotland $d Edinburgh. $4 mfp

In Example 2, places of publication and manufacture are recorded for a single resource.

Example 3

752 ## $a United States $b Massachusetts $d Boston, $e publication place, $e distribution place.


752 ## $a United States $b Massachusetts $d Boston. $4 pup $4 dbp

In Example 3, subfield $e or subfield $4 is repeated to indicate that the place serves as publication place and distribution place.


The impact is unclear.  BIBFRAME models provider place as a component of the ProvisionActivity (which is an element distinct from the place that is recorded as part of a providerStatement, which is for the transcribed place when the ISBD statement rules are used). This relationship information can thus assist in mapping MARC to BIBFRAME.


5.1. Has the need for defining subfield $e (Relator term) and subfield $4 (Relator code) in field 752 been demonstrated in this paper?

5.2. Are there any drawbacks to defining these subfields to the field?

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