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541 Immediate Source of Acquisition Note (R)

Find the field definition and scope, indicators, subfield codes, and guidelines for applying content designations for field 541.

Indicators and subfield codes

First Indicator


blank        No information provided

0       Private

1        Not private

Second Indicator


blank        Undefined

Subfield Codes

‡a       Source of acquisition (NR)

‡b       Address (NR)

‡c       Method of acquisition (NR)

‡d       Date of acquisition (NR)

‡e       Accession number (NR)

‡f        Owner (NR)

‡h       Purchase price (R)

‡n       Extent (R)

‡o       Type of unit (NR)

‡3       Materials specified (NR)

‡5       Institution to which field applies (NR)

‡8       Field link and sequence number (R)


Field definition and scope

This field contains information about the immediate source of acquisition of the described materials and is used primarily with original or historical items, or other archival collections. The original source of acquisition is recorded in field 561 (Ownership and Custodial History).

Field 541 is repeated when recording the acquisition of additional material in a collection. An additional field 541 is made for each addition.

Guidelines for applying content designations


First Indicator - Privacy

The first indicator position contains a value that specifies whether the contents of the field are private or not.

blank - No information provided

Value blank indicates that no information is provided as to the privacy of the field contents.

0 - Private

Value 0 indicates that the field contains private information

1 - Not private

Value 1 indicates that there is no private information in the field.

Second Indicator - Undefined

The second indicator is undefined and contains a blank (blank).

blank - Undefined


‡a - Source of acquisition

Subfield ‡a contains the name of the person(s) or organization that is the source of the material. Use subfield ‡f if the source is an agent.

541    0    ‡c Gift; ‡a Leavitt Hunt's daughter, Mrs. William E. Patterson; ‡d 1947.

541           Source unknown.

‡b - Address

Subfield ‡b contains the address of the source of acquisition given in subfield ‡a.

541    0    ‡3 5 diaries ‡n 25 ‡o cubic feet; ‡a Merriwether, Stuart; ‡b 458 Yonkers Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601; ‡c Purchase at auction; ‡d 1981/09/24; ‡e 81-
                 325; ‡f Johnathan P. Merriwether Estate; ‡h $7,850. 

‡c - Method of acquisition

Subfield ‡c contains the method of acquisition which refers to the terms under which a transfer of physical custody occurs, for example, by gift, bequest, loan, purchase, deposit.

‡d - Date of acquisition

Subfield ‡d contains the date of acquisition in the form yyyy with additional explanatory text, if needed.

‡e - Accession number

Subfield ‡e contains the accession number which is defined as the identification code assigned to materials acquired in a single and separate transfer of custody.

541           ‡c Bequest; ‡a Erwin Swann; ‡d 1974; ‡e (DLC/PP-1977:215).

‡f - Owner

Subfield ‡f contains the name of the individual or organization with legal custody over the described materials. See the example in subfield ‡b.

‡h - Purchase price

Subfield ‡h contains the purchase price.

541           ‡3 Photoprints ‡c Purchased; ‡d 1974; ‡h $4,000.

‡n - Extent

Subfield ‡n contains the extent of the item, defined as the number of items acquired.

541           Wisconsin Office of The Commissioner of Insurance; ‡e 81-141002; ‡c Records Center transfer; ‡n 54 ‡o cubic feet; ‡n 12 ‡o reels of computer tape; ‡d

‡o - Type of unit

Subfield ‡o contains the type of unit, defined as the name of the unit of measurement. If subfields ‡n and ‡o are repeated in one 541 field, each subfield ‡o follows its associated subfield ‡n.

541           Sparkling Brew Beer Company; ‡b New Hops Road, Port Washington, WI 53074; ‡e 1987-1; ‡n 4 ‡o record center cartons; ‡n 2 ‡o reels of microfilm; ‡d

‡3 - Materials specified

Subfield ‡3 contains information that indicates the part of the described material to which the field applies.

541    0    ‡3 Materials scheduled for permanent retention ‡a 25 ‡o reels of microfilm ‡a U.S. Department of Transportation ‡c Transfer under schedule;  ‡c
                 Purchase at auction; ‡d 1980/01/10.

‡5 - Institution to which field applies

Subfield ‡5 contains the MARC code of the institution or organization that holds the copy to which the data in the field applies. It is used for institution-specific information that may or may not apply to the universal use of the holdings record. See MARC Code List for Organizations, which also includes links to Canadian, United Kingdom, and German MARC Organization Code lists.

‡8 - Field link and sequence number

Subfield ‡8 contains data that identifies linked fields and may also propose a sequence for the linked fields. Subfield ‡8 may be repeated to link a field to more than one other group of fields.

The structure and syntax for the field link and sequence number subfield is: ‡8<linking number>.<sequence number>\<field link type>

The linking number is the first data element in the subfield and required if the subfield is used. It is a variable-length whole number that occurs in subfield ‡8 in all fields that are to be linked. Fields with the same linking number are considered linked. A linking number of "0" (zero) is not used in this field.

The sequence number is separated from the linking number by a period "." and may be optional. It is a variable-length whole number that may be used to indicate the relative order for display of the linked fields (lower sequence numbers displaying before higher ones).

The field link type is separated from preceding data by a reverse slash "\". It is a code indicating the reason for the link and it follows the link number or sequence number if present. The following one-character field link type code has been defined for use in subfield 8 in OCLC local holdings records: a - Action

Code a is used in a record to link one or more fields with another field to which the processing or reference actions relate. This code is typically used only when there is more than one 5XX that relates to another 5XX field.

541          ‡8 1.1\a ‡3 Public School and College Authority and Trade School and Junior College Authority project files ‡a Finance Dept ‡c

583          ‡8 1.2\a ‡a Appraised ‡c 198712- ‡l tjb/prr

583          ‡8 1.3\a ‡a Scheduled ‡c 19880127 ‡k mc/dmj

583          ‡8 1.4\a ‡a Arranged ‡c 19900619 ‡k mc/dmj

583          ‡8 1.5\a ‡a Processed level 2 ‡b 90.160 ‡c 19901218 ‡k mc/dmj

Subfield ‡8 is always the first subfield in the field when it is used.