5.B. Extent of item, specific material designation and specific type of format

5.B.1. Extent of item and specific material designation
Based on and expanded from ISBD (NBM) 5.1.1 & Appendix D
Expanded from AACR2 6.5B1, 7.5B1, adapted from AACR2 9.5B1
Extracted and expanded from ISBD (ER) 5.1.1-5.1.2
The first element of the physical description area names and numbers the physical unit or units constituting the item , adding other measures of extent as appropriate. The specific material designation identifies the particular class of material to which the item belongs and is given in the language and/or script of the archive or cataloguing agency.

sound cartridge
sound cassette
sound cylinder
sound disc
sound tape reel
sound wire reel
sound track film reel


film cartridge
film cassette
film loop
film reel

electronic chip cartridge
electronic tape reel
electronic tape cassette
electronic disk
electronic tape reel
electronic optical disc

5.B.1.1. Extent of item Based on AACR2 1.5B1, 6.5B1, 7.5B1

Precede the specific material designator with an Arabic numeral to indicate the number of physical units (i.e. carriers) for the item .

2 sound cassettes

1 sound disc

1 sound track film reel

3 film reels

3 videocartridges

1 electronic disk

1 electronic optical disc

5.B.1.2. Based on AACR2 6.5B1, 7.5B1 Optional rules Optionally, where the general material designation is applied in the title (see 1.C.1) omit the term sound, film , video or electronic from the specific material designation, unless it is required to make the specific material designation understandable, as with sound track film .

Area 1: A whiter shade of pale [sound recording]
1 disc 5.B.1.3. Optionally, where the specific material designation would normally be associated with a particular medium, but the item actually contains another medium, precede it with the appropriate term for the medium contained in the item .

Area 1: St Matthew Passion [sound recording]
2 sound videocassettes (U-matic) : digital

(U-matic video is sometimes used as a format for digitally recorded sound)

5.B.2. Specific type of format Adapted from ISBD (ER) 5.1.3
See also: 5.C.2.4, 5.D.6 The identification of a specific type of format may be given in the language and/or script of the archive or cataloguing agency as a qualifier.

Following is a list of terms for specific types of formats. The list is not exclusive. Additional terms may be applied as appropriate.

Digital S
Hi8 (High 8)
mini disc
Video 8
Video 2000

2 videocassettes (U-matic)

1 sound disc (CD)

7 sound discs (lacquer)

1 electronic optical disc (CD-ROM)

1 sound cassette (DAT)

2 sound discs (metal mother)

1 videocassette (Hi8 )

1 videocassette (VHS)

1 sound cassette (Exabyte)

5.B.3. Further qualification of specific type of format In turn these specific types of formats may be further qualified as appropriate to the requirements of the archive or cataloguing agency.  

1 videocassette (VHS PAL )

1 sound videocassette (VHS Longplay, 122 min.)

1 electronic disk (diskette, 1.44 MB)

3 videocassettes (betacam SP)

5.B.4. Playing time (duration), fractional extent of item , and time code

5.B.4.1. Playing time (duration) Expanded from AACR2 1.5B4, 6.5B2, 7.5B2
Give the playing time of the recording in parentheses as follows. Where the format is qualified with more specific information, precede the duration with a comma and a space.

a) If the playing time is stated on the item , give it as stated.

1 sound tape reel (40 min.)

3 sound discs (CD, 2 hr., 45 min.)

b) If the playing time is not stated on the item but is readily ascertainable, give it.

1 videocassette (30 min.)

Note that archives with specific needs, e.g. broadcasters, may require exact duration for the content. In these cases give the exact duration of the content.

1 sound disc (3 min., 21 sec.)

c) Optionally, if the playing time is neither stated on the item nor readily ascertainable, either give an approximate time or omit this information.

1. sound wire reel (ca. 21 min.)

2 sound cassettes (DAT, ca. 3 hr., 30 min.)

d) Optionally, if the parts of a multipart item have a stated uniform playing time or an approximate uniform playing time, give the playing time of each part followed by each. Otherwise, give the total duration.

31 sound cassettes (30 min. each)

11 sound cassettes (ca. 90 min. each)

2 sound discs (1 hr.)

7 discs (lacquer, 2 hr., 10 min.)

1 sound videocassette (U-matic, 62 min.)

5.B.4.2. Multiple recordings and playing times (durations)
Expanded from AACR2 6.7B10

See also: 7.B.14.1 Give the duration of each part contained in an item without a collective title and described as a unit, or give the durations in a note (see 7.B.14 and 7.B.25).

sound cassettes (84 min. ; 95 min)
2 sound cassettes
Note: Durations: 84 min. ; 95 min.

1 sound disc (CD, 35 min. ; 27 min)
(CD without a collective title and containing two piano sonatas)

5.B.4.3. Fractional extent of item
Expanded from AACR2 6.5B3, 7.5B2
If the description is of a separately titled part of an item lacking a collective title (see 1.G.1), express the fractional extent in the form:

on side 3 of 2 sound discs
on reel 3 of 4 sound tape reels
on sides 1-3 of 2 sound discs
(if the parts are numbered or lettered in a single sequence)
on 1 side of 2 sound discs
on 1 reel of 3 sound tape reels
(if there is no sequential numbering)
starts at 43 min., 35 sec. on 1 sound cassette (DAT)
track 3 on side 2 of 1 sound disc
(if specific locational information for the recording on the carrier is available, and this information is required by the archive or cataloguing agency).

Add the duration of the part to such a statement (see also Chapter 9).

on 1 side of 1 sound cassette (25 min.)

on side 5 of 7 sound discs (15 min., 12 sec.)

starts at 3 min., 17 sec. on 1 sound cassette (DAT, 4 min., 12 sec.)
(time code of the start ID is given for this audio file)

5.B.4.4. Time code

Optionally, give the time code of the start ID and the end ID of an audio file as shown in the display on the recording/playback machine.

1 m 00 s - 43 m 20 s
(= 42'20" playing time of item 1 on a DAT-cassette)

43 m 35 s - 1 h 19 m 45 s
(= 36'10" playing time of item 2 on a DAT-cassette)