Non-filing Indicators

The PCC position on non-filing indicators has been stated on a posting to the PCC list Apr.22, 2003:

"When MARC 21 was issued in 1999 the method of counting non-filing characters was clarified. That clarification resulted in a change in practice that the Library of Congress implemented on February 20, 2003 ( ). Since the method of counting non-filing characters is a MARC 21 convention, presumably the aim of all PCC participants would be, sooner or later, to follow that convention if they haven't been since 1999. When to make the adjustment needed to follow the convention as currently stated in MARC 21 may be influenced by considerations related to local systems or to the bibliographic utilities. LC kept both OCLC and RLIN apprised of its schedule and of the details of its implementation and both have indicated that they are currently able to handle the old and new conventions."

"In cataloging a PCC record today, follow the current MARC 21 convention for counting non-filing characters if that convention is supported by the local system or bibliographic utility one is working in. If that is not possible, follow the convention that is supported at the time of input. The ultimate goal will be eventually for all to follow the MARC 21 convention."

[Ana Cristan, BIBCO Coordinator and Kay Guiles, CPSO]

On Voyager, neither use of the current MARC 21 convention nor the obsolete method will affect retrieval.

For all new records created in Voyager or OCLC, begin using the new method of counting non-filing indicators. Apply the new method whether or not the record is coded as pcc.

It is not necessary to update the filing indicator in source copy records using the pre-MARC 21 counting method; MARS processing is expected to update the nonfiling indicators to the MARC 21 standard. Copy catalogers should be aware of the new standard and not "correct" records following the new standard to pre-MARC 21.

Two relevant documents may be accessed on the Bibco page.

1. The following is a table using examples to compare the current counting method with the obsolete counting method:

2. The following is the LC memo describing the LC implementation, with examples, in PDF format:

NOTE: the URL cited in the PCC list posting also has a link to the pdf document.

To: YUL Technical Services Staff
From: Joan Swanekamp
Date: (May 19, 2003 creation date, 05/15/2003 revision date)

Last modified: 
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 10:27am