Transcription of Dates in the 264 Fields

Publication date present |  Publication date not present.

Below is a summary, in table form, of the rules for transcribing date information in the 264 fields of MARC bibliographic records according to RDA and the LC-PCC PSs, these are not intended for DCRM cataloging. Publication dates, copyright dates, printing dates, and combinations thereof are all addressed below.

Follow the guidelines on when to create separate records for different printings of the same edition. Occasionally a curator will request exceptions to these guidelines.

See the Transcription of dates in the 260 field documentation for instructions on transcribing dates in the 260 field.

When a publication date is present on the item

Situation Publication Date Copyright Date Printing Date Transcription
Publication date matches copyright date 1990 ©1990 ____ Transcribe publication date only
264 _1 ‡c 1990

Optionally, transcribe copyright date as well
264 _4 ‡c ©1990

Publication date matches printing date 1990 ____ 1990 printing Transcribe publication date only
264 _1 ‡c 1990

Optionally, transcribe printing date as well, especially when giving other elements in the statement of manufacture
264 _3 ‡a Wichita Falls, Texas : ‡b Humphrey Printing Company, ‡c 1990

Publication date later than copyright date 1990 ©1989 ____ Transcribe publication date only
264 _1 ‡c 1990

Optionally, transcribe copyright date as well
264 _4 ‡c ©1989

Publication date later than printing date 1990 ____ 1989 printing Transcribe publication date only
264 _1 ‡c 1990

Optionally, transcribe printing date as well, especially when giving other elements in the statement of manufacture
264 _3 ‡a Wichita Falls, Texas : ‡b Humphrey Printing Company, ‡c 1989

Publication date earlier than copyright date 1990 ©1991 ____ Transcribe publication date only
264 _1 ‡c 1990

Optionally, transcribe copyright date as well
264 _4 ‡c ©1991

Publication date earlier than printing date 1990 ____ 1991 printing Transcribe publication date only
264 _1 ‡c 1990

Optionally, transcribe printing date as well, especially when giving other elements in the statement of manufacture
264 _3 ‡a Wichita Falls, Texas : ‡b Humphrey Printing Company, ‡c 1991

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When a publication date is not present on the item

Situation Publication Date Copyright Date Printing Date Transcription
Copyright date only ____ ©1990 ____ Supply the copyright date as the publication date in square brackets
264 _1 ‡c [1990]

Optionally, transcribe copyright date as well
264 _4 ‡c ©1990

Printing date only ____ ____ 1990 printing If it is reasonable that the printing date and the date of publication are the same, supply the printing date as the publication date in square brackets
264 _1 ‡c [1990]

If it is unlikely that the date of printing is the same as the date of publication, supply a date of publication based on the information given
264 _1 ‡c [not after 1990]

Optionally, transcribe printing date as well
264 _3 ‡c 1990

Copyright date matches printing date ____ ©1990 1990 printing

Supply the copyright/printing date as the publication date in square brackets
264 _1 ‡c [1990]

Optionally, transcribe printing and/or copyright date as well
264 _3 ‡c 1990
264 _4 ‡c ©1990

Copyright date later than printing date ____ ©1990 1989 printing

Supply the copyright date as the publication date in square brackets
264 _1 ‡c [1990]

Optionally, transcribe copyright date and/or the printing date as well
264 _3 ‡c 1989

264 _4 ‡c ©1990

Copyright date earlier than printing date ____ ©1980 1991 printing

If it is reasonable that the copyright date and the date of publication are the same, supply the copyright date as the publication date in square brackets
264 _1 ‡c [1980]

If it is unlikely that the copyright date is the same as the date of publication, supply a date of publication based on the printing date.
264 _1 ‡c [not after 1991]

Optionally, transcribe printing date as well
264 _3 ‡c 1991

Copyright date or printing date differs significantly from approximate date of publication ____ ©1949 _____

Supply the approximate date of publication in square brackets
264 _1 ‡c [1990]

Optionally, transcribe copyright date as well
264 _4 ‡c ©1949

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