12. 300 ‡b: Other Physical Details with Examples

300 ‡b Other Physical Details

RDA 7.15. All standard illustration terms formerly abbreviated in AACR2 are no longer abbreviated.

300     ‡a xx, 33 pages, 4 unnumbered pages of plates : ‡b illustrations ...

AACR2 2.5C.  All illustrative matter is recorded in the ‡b subfield. On Voyager, enter as:  space - colon - ‡b. (Voyager will supply a space before and after ‡b automatically)\

300     ‡a xx, 33 p., [4] p. of plates : ‡b ill. ...

AACR2 2.5C1, 2.5C2. Follow the LC rule interpretation under 2.5C5: "Describe an illustrated printed monograph as 'ill.' in all cases unless there are maps present or AACR2 2.5C5 is applicable ("Disregard illustrated title pages and minor illustrations." ).

Note that tables containing only words or numbers are not considered illustrations.

Following LCRI 2.5C5 should be considered optional. RDA does not abbreviate "illustrations."

AACR2 (LCCN 2004002402)

300     ‡a 782 p. : ‡b ill. ...


300     ‡a 782 pages : ‡b illustrations ...

AACR2 (LCCN 2003048402)

300     ‡a xi, 85 p. : ‡b ill., maps ...

RDA The LCRI for AACR2 2.5C5 requiring that maps be recorded if present has not been carried over into the RDA Policy Statements; it is now cataloger judgment. Other standard terms used in AACR2 (e.g. portraits) have been carried over into RDA. The RDA default is to use only "illustrations," but the cataloger has the option to use one or more of the specific terms, and if none of the terms applies to the book in hand, the cataloger can use an "off-list" term. LC practice generally discourages using the option, but non-LC libraries can use any of the terms listed in RDA Alternative.

300     ‡a xi, 85 pages : ‡b illustrations, maps ...

If "ill." is recorded, be sure code "a" has been entered in the 008 Illustrations fixed field.


Code both a and b if maps are also recorded.


AACR2 2.5C3. Describe colored illustrations if considered to be important. The underlined section is new in 2005; note that a colored illustration is "an illustration containing any color," but black, white, and shades of gray are not considered to be colors in AACR2/rev. (But a black and red illustration is a colored illustration).

RDA rules for what & how to record illustrative content can be found in RDA chapter 7 (RDA separates the rules for illustrations from the rules for the carrier categories). RDA examples use the British spelling for "colour," but there is no rule determining spelling in RDA. US practice is to use US spelling. As with other terms used in b, "color" is not abbreviated.

LC RDA Policy: ‡b is not recorded unless the illustrations are significant (in volume or importance). For CIP, go ahead and add ‡b. For completed LC cataloging without ‡b, generally do not add ‡b unless the illustrations are substantial.

EXAMPLES. (All LC records in the examples are AACR2)

LCCN 2002494254


300     ‡a 95 p. : ‡b col. ill. ...


300     ‡a 95 pages : ‡b color illustrations ...

LCCN 2003442446


300     ‡a 285 p. : ‡b ill. (some col.) ...


300     ‡a 285 pages : ‡b illustrations (some color) ...

LCCN 2003070402


300     ‡a 64 p. : ‡b col. ill., col. maps ...


300     ‡a 64 pages : ‡b color illustrations, color maps ...

LCCN 2004046825


300     ‡a 64 p. : ‡b ill. (some col.), maps (some col.) ...


300     ‡a 64 pages : ‡b illustrations (some color), maps (some color) ...

LCCN 2004045526 [some of the illustrations are in color; all of the maps are in color]


300     ‡a 64 p. : ‡b ill. (some col.), col. maps ...


300     ‡a 64 pages : ‡b illustrations (some color), color maps ...

LCCN 2002010318 [most of the illustrations are in color; all of maps are in color]


300     ‡a 64 p. : ‡b ill. (chiefly col.), col. maps ...


300     ‡a 64 pages : ‡b illustrations (chiefly color), color maps ...

LCCN 2001097794 [publication is mostly color illustrations & has one color map]


300     ‡a xi, 203 p. : ‡b chiefly col. ill., col. map ...


300     ‡a xi, 203 pages : ‡b chiefly color illustrations [color map] ...

AACR2 2.5C4. If the illustrations are numbered in the publication, record the numbering.


300     ‡a 287 p. : ‡b 16 ill. ...


300     ‡a 287 pages : ‡b 16 illustrations ...

RDA defaults to "illustrations" only, and LC practice is to prefer the default, but catalogers (including LC catalogers) are free to use the alternative list of terms if considered to be helpful to the user. But note that there is no LC PS about determining whether the book is mostly illustrations of one type, or what to do when there is more than one type, or whether to record maps--the cataloger decides.

Under the LCRI for AACR2 2.5C5, if the publication consisted wholly or predominantly of illustrations, the cataloger was instructed to give all ill. or chiefly ill., as appropriate. It is not entirely clear whether RDA allows phrasing of this kind; it appears that a note is preferable, although "illustrations" alone would still be recorded in 300: 500 Chiefly illustrations. Or similar phrasing.

Optionally, under AACR2/LCRIs, you had the option to follow this LC practice: If those illustrations are all of one type, give all [name of type] or chiefly [name of type].  There is no corresponding policy statement for RDA.

REMEMBER: In AACR2 records following the LCRIs, the illustration terms were only used if they were all of one type and the publication was wholly or mostly illustrations AND you decided to follow the option; when upgrading AACR2 CIP, if the illustrations are of various types, or if the item is not predominantly illustrations, just use ill. (or ill., maps).


300     ‡a 1 v. (unpaged) : ‡b all ill. ...
300     ‡a xii, 226 p. : ‡b chiefly ports. ...

RDA LC will not routinely record illustrations in general or of any specific type in 300 ‡b. When the LC cataloger considers the illustrations to be an important part of the book, LC will use "illustrations" as the default even for a combination of maps and other types of illustrations, but LC and other cataloging agencies may go beyond the default if the specific type is considered to be important to bring out.

300     ‡a 1 volume (unpaged) : ‡b illustrations ...
500     ‡a All illustrations.

Note that if the publication is wholly or mostly maps, the item to be cataloged is probably an atlas, and the cataloging rules for books are not applied. For example, the 300 should begin "1 atlas." CAUTION: use of the term "atlas" in the title does not always mean that the item is cataloged using the cartographic rules. However, if the item to be cataloged appears to be an atlas -- a collection of maps -- it should be referred to a map cataloging specialist.

Music scores are out of scope for CIP, but for the record, if the publication is wholly or mostly music, the item to be cataloged is probably a score, and the cataloging rules for books are not applied. If the item to be cataloged is mostly music, it should be referred to a music cataloging specialist.

REMINDER: if a specific illustration type is recorded in subfield b, then the 008 Illustrations fixed field code(s) must also be specific; again, recording an illustration type is optional. RDA uses one additional illustration type (photographs) and spells out all of the illustration types that were formerly abbreviated in AACR2.  Valid AACR2/RDA illustration types (use the abbreviations as given in the table if you are completing an AACR2 CIP) and their corresponding MARC21 008 codes:

Type of illustration




coats of arms


facsims. [RDA: facsimiles]




geneal. tables [RDA: genealogical tables]






photographs [RDA only; presumably this includes reproductions of photographs] o



ports. [RDA: portraits]




NOTE: Plates are recorded in a but are coded (f) in the 008 Illustrations fixed field. See earlier section above under AACR2.5B9 (Leaves or pages of plates)

NOTE: The list of illustration types is from AACR2 2.5C2. Note that AACR2 says that if none of the terms adequately describes the illustrations, a more appropriate term (e.g. computer drawings) may be used. In this situation, you should run it by your supervisor. The corresponding RDA list is in RDA Alternative.

RDA TIP. If you can't remember the written out form of the abbreviation, click in any of the Illustrations fixed fields in 008 in Voyager to expose the menu. All of the valid types are listed in written out form.

AACR2 2.5C6. If illustrative matter is issued in a pocket inside the cover of an item, use "ill." in 300 & add a note.

300     ‡a xli, 13 p. : ‡b ill., maps ...
500     Four maps on 2 folded leaves in pocket.


300     ‡a xli, 13 pages : ‡b illustrations, maps ...
500     Four maps on 2 folded leaves in pocket.

Note that when a number is the first word of a note, the number is written out, but that otherwise Arabic numerals are used in notes.