Tag of the Month

Category: Tag of the Month Bibliographic Archives
Title: 260 - Publication, Distribution, etc. (Imprint) (R)

The publication information of a MARC bibliographic 
record identifies the place of publication, the 
publisher, distributor, etc., and the copyright date 
and/or the date of publication. This information is 
entered into the 260 tag. If there is more than one 
place of publication or more than one publisher, this 
information is transcribed into one 260 tag with the 
individual pieces of information being entered into 
separate subfields. 

For the first indicator, blank is used when an item is 
first cataloged. A value of 2 is used when the 
publisher or place of publication changes,and a value 
of 3 is used when the publisher changes, or when the 
place of publication associated with the earliest 
publisher changes.

The structure of the information in this tag is 
determined by AACR2 with the general rules found in 
Chapter 1.4. For explanations on specific materials 
refer to the related chapter and the X.4 section 
(i.e., publication information on sound recordings 
would be in 6.4). Publisher and date information 
should be transcribed for all items to assist in 
identification of individual items. 

In subfield a the place of publication is entered and 
the state, province, or country is added to 
distinguish between same name places. If no 
information is found for the place of publication 
the initials [S.l.] (sine loco) in brackets is used. 

In subfield b the publisher or distributor is entered 
with as much information as needed to distinguish it 
from a similar body. If no information is found for 
the publisher/distributor the initials [s.n.] (sine 
nomine) in brackets is used. 

Occasionally there will be multiple places of 
publication or publishers. The information will be 
entered depending upon the country where the 
cataloging is being done. If you are cataloging in the 
United States and there is a foreign place of 
publication and publisher listed first, enter the 
foreign place and publisher and then the first place 
and publisher in the United States that is listed. 
Likewise, if cataloging in Canada, enter the foreign 
place of publication and publisher and then the first 
Canadian location. Each place and publisher will go in 
separate subfields. Be sure to have the place of 
publication and its publisher together. That is, if 
each publisher is located in a different city enter 
the first city then first publisher; followed by the 
second place of publication and second publisher. If 
none of the locations are in the country you are 
cataloging in, then enter just the first place of 
publication for that publisher. 

In subfield c the date of publication, distribution is
entered. This would be the copyright date and/or the 
publication date of the edition, revision, being 
cataloged. If a printing date is given do not enter it 
in subfield c, give the latest publication date. If 
the copyright date is given in addition to the 
publication date, the copyright date will follow the 
publication date and be preceded by a lower case c. If 
the items are published in multiple parts over a 
period of years the date of the first publication for 
the first volume is given then the date of the 
publication of the last volume is given. If serial 
items are being cataloged an open-ended date will be 
placed in subfield c to indicate the beginning date of 
publication then a dash representing continued 
publication. When the last item is purchased for the 
library or the item ceases publication an ending date
will be entered. 

Occasionally a date will not be present on the item 
being cataloged. In this case the cataloger must 
determine a probable date, decade, or century. This 
information is always followed by a question mark and 
bracketed. ([1972?] probably published in 1972; 
[197-?] probably published sometime between 1970 and 
1979; [19--?] probably published in the 20th century.) 
If the cataloger is certain of the decade or century 
the information is just bracketed. ([198-] published 
between 1980 and 1989; [19--] published in the 20th 

First  Sequence of publishing statements

 blank Not applicable/No information provided/Earliest 
       available publisher

     2 Intervening publisher

     3 Current/latest publisher     

Second  Undefined

 blank Undefined


     a Place of publication, distribution, etc. (R) 
     b Name of publisher, distributor, etc. (R) 

     c Date of publication, distribution, etc.(R) 


A semi-colon will precede the second and all 
subsequent subfield a. 

A colon will precede subfield b. 

A comma will precede subfield c. 

This tag generally ends with a mark of punctuation (., 
!, ?, -), a closing parenthesis, closing angle 
bracket, closing bracket or a comma.


     260    _aNew York :
            _bFranklin Watts,

     260    _aNew York :
            _bMill :
            _bMorrow [distributor],

     260    _aRacine, Wis. :
            _bWestern Books,
            _c1962, c1961.
     (Published in 1962, copyrighted in 1961.)

     260    _a[S.l.] :
            _bWeston Woods,
     (Place of publication unknown; published 
      between 1960 and 1969)

     260    _a[S.l. :
     (Place of publication and publisher unknown;
      published in the 20th century.)

     260    _aParis :
            _bGauthier-Villars ;
            _aChicago :
            _bUniversity of Chicago Press,
     (Cataloging agency is in the United States;
      item lists two different places and publishers
      with the first one in Paris and the second in

     260    _aNew York ;
            _aToronto :
     (Cataloging agency in Canada; item lists New
      York as first city, London as second city,
      then Toronto.)

     260    _aNew York :
            _bPublished for the Crime Club of 

     260    _aWashington, D.C. :
            _bU.S. G.P.O.,
     (Published by the United States Government
      Printing Office. This item began publication
      and was copyrighted in 1981. Since  there is
      a dash after the date it continues to be
      published. This type of date would occur for
      serial items.)

     260    _aBoston :
     (Multiple volumes published over a period of 8