Agency codes for 040 tag

I have a confession to make.  Up until about ten years ago, our library was not using the correct agency code in the 040 tag.  We had used the same one for so long…. I guess everyone thought it was correct, or that it didn’t matter as long as we knew what was going on.  WRONG!

Ten years ago we submitted our first subject heading proposal to the Library of Congress.  They soon set us straight!  That led me to wonder if any other libraries out there are using an incorrect code (made up by the institution) in the 040 tag.

Our correct agency code is CaNSH.  The breakdown for this code is as follows: Ca (Canada) NS (Nova Scotia) H (Halifax).  There is a web link that describes how the agency codes are structured.


You can also search the MARC code list for organizations from the LC Marc Standards Office.  Or… you can request a Marc Agency Code from the Library of Congress.


2 responses to “Agency codes for 040 tag

  1. And then there is the difference between the MARC 21 code assigned by LC and the code assigned to the same institution by OCLC. For example, Greenville (SC) County Library System is assigned the code SGR by OCLC. This is the code which appears in the 040 field of their bibliographic records.

    The MARC 21 code for the same library system is ScG–a code which, to my knowledge, has never appeared in any of their catalog records.

    For a cross-reference list between these sets of codes, search OCLC’s directory:

    If your library isn’t a member of OCLC, there probably won’t be a cross-reference in this directory.

    Since the libraries with which I work are not OCLC members, we assign the MARC 21 code in the 040 field.

    There are some codes which don’t seem to match with geographical location. This is particularly true when a library has moved to a different city, a situation most likely to occur with a special library.

  2. Hi there,

    Yes, we’re OCLC members, so we use ACD in our records, even though our MARC 21 code is actually CLArt. Confusing to say the least.

    I guess since there is a cross-ref db (maintained by OCLC) it would be easy enough to update to the proper code… but I wonder why OCLC assigned the new codes to begin with…?

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