October 26th, 2020

In Alexandria, it's easy to catalog items whether you understand MARC tags and subfields or not. However, if you can't find a spot for the information you want to add in a title record, you may need to switch to MARC View and add it that way. So... where can you go to find information about what each tag and subfield represents?

The Library of Congress (LOC) website has a special section devoted to MARC tags and fields, which shows what each tag and subfield represent and examples of how each is used.

To get to the Library of Congress MARC webpage:

  1. Go to

  2. Click on Bibliographic under the MARC Formats section or Bibliographic under the MARC LITE section.
  3. Use the Table of Contents to select a portion of MARC information you would like to learn about.
  4. Use links from the resulting page to view specific tag information.

You can also click Read About This Tag when looking at a specific tag in MARC View to go straight to the relevant LOC page.

MARC LITE is a subset of the full MARC 21 Bibliographic Format. It includes all essential data elements that are needed to create bibliographic descriptions of information items. Records using only those elements are valid MARC records and may be integrated with fuller records without alteration.

Before you go...

Have you used the new Patron Details, Item Details, and Copy List? Let us know what you think in our short survey! Your feedback will help inform future improvements.

Want more tips? 

Sign up for the emails!

How helpful was this page? 

Your Rating:
1 Star2 Star3 Star4 Star5 Star
5 rates

Tell us what we can improve.

Write a comment...