8. 374 Occupation General (R)

Sources: LC RDA Training Module 5, Pt. 3, RDA 9.16

Policies & Protocols

Module 5, Slide 36

No indicators

‡a Occupation (R) <in OCLC ‡a does not display at the beginning of the field>
‡s Start period (NR)
‡t End period (NR)
‡u Uniform Resource Identifier (R)
‡v Source of information (R)
‡0 Record control number (R) <not used>
‡2 Source of term (NR)


Module 5, Slide 37 (Modified)

The Sept. LC training in Module 5 Slide 37 is “Generally this means what a person is paid to do,” implying that occupation is the job. The current thinking is that occupation can be avocation as well, and that a person can have multiple occupations (‡a is repeatable).

Capitalize the first word of the occupation

May use an LCSH term – but LCSH terms are generally plural for “classes of persons”

  • this is NOT PRESCRIPTIVE but is considered “best practice” in Z1; if you do use LCSH vocabulary, code ‡2 lcsh
  • [NACO Training]. If a non-lcsh term is used, enter in singular form (without ‡2 unless taken from another controlled vocabulary)
  • BL preference is to limit to lcsh and propose new terms via SACO if the appropriate term has not been established

BL Best Practices

British Library Guide to Authority Records, MARC 21, RDA 9.16

Use this field only for personal names, not for corporate, conference names or jurisdiction names.

An Occupation of a person can be professional, occupational, unpaid or recreational: “Librarian,” “Builder,” “Charity worker,” “Angler.”

Use the term for the agent, not the activity or discipline: “Poet,” not “Poetry.”

Use specific rather than general terms when possible: “Poet,” rather than “Writer.”

If they are available, prefer terms for wider professions or occupations over terms for specific posts or positions: “Librarian” rather than “Authority Control team member.”

Avoid terms that merely suggest a person’s relationship to the work: “Editor”, “Compiler”, unless it is clear that this is their wider profession or occupation.

Best practice is to use an LCSH term. If an LCSH term is not ascertainable, use a term suggested by the resource being catalogued, and your research.

Avoid LCSH terms that indicate the gender or ethnicity of persons engaged in an occupation, unless this aspect is considered important:

374     Accountants NOT 374     Women accountants
374     Lawyers NOT 374     African American lawyers

When using a term from LCSH, indicate the source in subfield ‡2.

374     Philosophers ‡2 lcsh

When using subfield ‡2, repeat field 374 if subfield ‡2 does not apply to all terms:

374     Ceramicist
374     Painters ‡a Poets ‡2 lcsh

Use LCSH terms concisely and only include subdivisions when necessary. Subdivisions should be indicated with a double dash (no spaces):

374     Teachers unions--Officials and employees ‡2 lcsh

Note that if ‡2 is used, it should be placed after any subfields to which it applies, but before any subfields ‡s, ‡t, ‡u or ‡v.

Only record dates in ‡s or ‡t when considered significant or useful. When using these subfields, repeat field 374 if they do not apply to all occupations:

100 1   Hedley, Jane, ‡d 1925-1999
374     Librarians ‡2 lcsh ‡s 1940 ‡t 1951
374     Air pilots ‡2 lcsh ‡s 1951 ‡t 1952
374     Carpenters ‡2 lcsh ‡s 1952

Note that LCSH terms for classes of persons are given in the plural, and should be given like this in 374.