Tag of the Month

Category: Tag of the Month Bibliographic Archives
Title: 256 - Computer File Characteristics (NR)

Computer File Characteristics are used with 
electronic resources and provide useful 
information about the type and size of the 
resource. This information is entered into the 
256 tag in the MARC record. Electronic resources 
include floppy disks, CD-ROMs and computer 
files available on your local network or through 
the Internet. 

Chapter 9 of AACR2 covers electronic resources. 
Rule 9.3 deals specifically with the file type 
and resource area of the record. When the 
information is available, designate whether the 
electronic resource contains data or programs 
(Rule 9.3B1). If it is readily available and can 
be stated succinctly, enter information about 
the size of the resource in parentheses following 
the type of resource: 

The 256 tag is no longer applied to electronic resources.

     * Include the number of files

     * For data give the number of records 

     * For programs give the number of 
       statements or bytes 

The entire statement goes into subfield a. 


First  Undefined

 blank Undefined

Second  Undefined

 blank Undefined


     a Computer file characteristics (NR) 


This tag ends with a period.


     256    _aElectronic data.

     256    _aElectronic program.

     256    _aElectronic data and programs.

     256    _aElectronic programs (3 files).

     256    _aElectrnic data (1 file : 95 

     256    _aElectronic program (1 file : 210

     256    _aElectronic data (1 file : 5428

     256    _aElectronic data (4 files : 138900,
              9227, 102469, 114644 bytes) and 
              electronic program (1 file : 79065 

     256    _aComputer data (1 file : 100 records,
              138900 bytes).