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Physical Description: 300 field (RDA 3.0, 3.1)

The physical description of a manifestation describes the extent, dimensions, and other physical details in such a way that it can be distinguished from other manifestations with similar characteristics. The source of information for the description is the carrier or carriers or that on accompanying material or a container.

Extent: 300 ǂa (RDA 3.4.5,



300 xvii, 323 pages
300 167 pages
300 15, 321 pages
300 A-T pages (add note as necessary : 500 Pages numbered as words)
300 8 unnumbered pages, 277 pages, 3 unnumbered pages
300 approximately 300 leaves

Leaf: “A unit of extent consisting of a single bound or fastened sheet as a subunit of a volume; each leaf consists of two pages, one on each side, either or both of which may be blank” – RDA Glossary.

300 323 pages, 18 unnumbered pages of plates
300 xiv, 145 pages, 10 leaves of plates

Plate: “A leaf, usually containing illustrative content, that does not form part of either the preliminary or the main sequence of pages or leaves” – RDA Glossary.

Single Volume with Unnumbered Pages (RDA

Three options for recording unnumbered pages, leaves, or columns:

1. If the pagination is readily ascertainable:

24 unnumbered pages

2. If the pagination is not readily ascertainable:

approximately 200 unnumbered pages

3. 1 volume (unpaged) (try to avoid this option if possible.)

PINES local RDA guidelines for recording unpaged books is to, if at all possible, count the pages and transcribe those numbers in the 300 field and to avoid using 1 volume (unpaged).

More Than One Volume (RDA


300 3 volumes 300 2 volumes in 1

An example for this usage is when two separate works are published in one volume: a manifestation containing A Street car named desire and Glass menagerie. The 245 field in this case would be: 245 10 Street car named desire ; ǂb The glass menagerie.

300 3 volumes (800 p.)

In this example, pages are numbered consecutively in each of 3 volumes as 1-201; 202-513; 514-800.

Continuously paged volumes (RDA

“If the volumes are continuously paged, specify the number of pages, leaves, or columns in parentheses, following the term for the type of unit. Ignore separately paged sequences of preliminary matter in volumes other than the first” (RDA


300 3 volumes (xi, 800 pages)

Individually Paged Volumes (RDA

“If the volumes are individually paged, record the number of volumes and omit the pagination” (RDA


300 2 volumes

Illustrative content: 300 field ǂb (RDA 7.15, 7.17)

“A presence of image content that accompanies the primary content of an expression Tables containing only words and/or numerical data are excluded” RDA Glossary.


“Illustrative content is a core element for LC for resources intended for children” LC-PCC PS.

“Record an illustrative content if considered important for identification or selection. Use one or more appropriate terms from the following list. Record the type of an illustrative content in place of or in addition to the general term illustration … Record the term in the singular or plural, as applicable” RDA

coat of arms
genealogical table
photograph (used for actually photographs only)


300 45 pages : ǂb illustrations
300 345 pages : ǂb illustrations (some color)
300 145 pages : ǂb 8 color illustrations
300 240 pages : ǂb chiefly color illustrations
300 511 pages : ǂb illustrations, coat of arms, genealogical table, maps, portraits

Dimensions: 300 field ǂc (RDA 3.5)

“A measurement of a carrier or a container of a manifestation. Dimensions include measurements of height, width, depth, length, gauge, and diameter” RDA Glossary.

“Unless instructed otherwise, record dimensions in centimetres to the next whole centimetre up and use the metric symbol cm (e.g., if the height measures 17.2 centimetres, record 18 cm)” RDA

“Punctuation - Field 300 may end in no punctuation, may end in a right parenthesis when the last element of the field is a parenthetical qualifier, or may end in a period when the last element is an abbreviation (“cm” and “mm” are not treated as abbreviations) or a 490 field is present in the record” MARC 21 Bibliographic - Full


300 ; ǂc 22 cm
300 ; ǂc 25 x 15 cm
300 ; ǂc 21 cm + ǂe 1 CD Rom, 1 booklet.
300 ; ǂc 22 cm. (followed by a series statement)
490 1_ Oprah's book club

cat/original-cataloging-book-physical-description.txt · Last modified: 2024/03/01 15:34 by tlittle