Tag of the Month

Category: Tag of the Month Bibliographic Archives
Title: 538 - System Details Note (R)

The System Details note of the MARC 21
bibliographic record provides special information 
on the types of equipment needed for use with a 
particular form of media. For software, data such 
as programming language, computer requirements, and 
peripheral requirements can be recorded. For sound 
and videorecordings, information about the trade
name or recording system is included. This tag may 
also be used to record links to technical details relating 
to digital resources. 

The information included in the 538 tag for 
electronic resources is set out in AACR2 rule 
9.7B1b. The field begins with the words "System 
requirements:" followed by five different types of 

     1. The make and model of the computer(s) on 
        which the resource is designed to run
     2. The amount of memory required
     3. The name of the operating system
     4. The software requirements (including the 
        programming language)
     5. The kind and characteristics of any 
        required or recommended hardware. 

The guidelines for videorecordings include the trade 
name or recording system, number of lines of 
resolution, and modulation frequency. The AACR2 
rule describing the format for the information is 
chapter 7.7B10. 

The RDA guideline for recording equipment or system 
requirements is  This guideline states to record
requirements such as "the make and model of equipment
or hardware, the operating system, the amount of memory,
programming language, other necessary software, any 
plug-ins or peripherals required to play, view, or run the
resource." An alternative guideline is to record the equipment
or system requirement as it is presented on the resource.


First  Undefined

 blank Undefined

Second  Undefined

 blank Undefined


     a System details note (NR) 
     i  Display text (NR)
     u Uniform Resource Identifier (R)


Precede each characteristic after the first by a 
semicolon space. 

The field ends with a period unless another mark of 
punctuation (!, ?, -) is present. 

If the final subfield is subfield u, the mark of punctuation
precedes that subfield.


Electronic resources
     538    _aData in extended ASCII character set.

     538    _aWritten in C++.

     538    _aSystem requirements: IBM 360 and 370;
              9K bytes of internal memory; OS SVS 
              and OSMVS.

     538    _aSystem requirements: Apple II, II+,
              or IIe; 48 K.

     538    _aSystem requirements: IBM PC; 64K; 
              color card; 2 disk drives.

     538    _aSystem requirements: IBM PC AT or XT; 
              CD-ROM player and drive.

     538    _aDisk characteristics: Disk is single
              sided, double density soft sectored.

     538    _aSystem requirements: IBM PC AT, PS/2, 
              or 100% compatible computer (80286 
              microprocessor or higher; Microsoft 
              Windows 3.0 or higher; 8MB hard disk
              drive; 4MB of RAM; DOS 3.1 or higher; 
              compatible video card; one 1.2MB 5
              1/4 in. diskette drive or 1.44MB 3
              1/2 in. diskette drive; compatible
              printer; compatible modem; compatible 

If a resource is available only by remote access, 
the mode of access needs to be specified. Always 
begin this note with: Mode of access:
     538    _aMode of access: World Wide Web.

     538    _aMode of access: Internet.


     538    _aVHS.

     538    _aDVD.

     538    _aBeta.

     538    _aVHS; Dolby Hi-fi; mono.

     538    _aVHS; Hi-fi stereo. surround.

     538    _aVHS; Hi-fi stereo.; Cinemascope.