How can I locate DVDs on a topic in a library catalog?

There are a number of different ways to locate DVDs encoded in the MARC format, the machine readable format that bibliographic data is stored in in most library catalogs. Your ability to retrieve information from the bibliographic records depends on two things. One, did your cataloging staff code the appropriate fields? Two, does your public catalog allow searching or sorting according to values in those fields? This tip sheet will cover how and where in the MARC record a cataloger can store information concerning the fact that the record is for a DVD. Whether and how your public catalog utilizes this information will vary from library catalog to library catalog.
Most DVDs are video recordings and so are cataloged on the same format as videotapes. However there is a MARC field (007, position 04) where the value “v” means that the record is for a DVD. A public catalog can use this information to show patrons only DVDs for a given search (i.e. subject, title, etc.) NOTE: Similarly there are other codes for VHS, Beta, U-matic, etc. available in the same MARC field.
A cataloger may also add the following form/genre headings to the record:

DVD-Video discs OR DVDs

The latter is used for all DVDs (i.e. audio DVDs, DVD ROMs, etc.), whereas the former is used only for DVDs that are video recordings.
NOTE: Some public catalogs do not make a distinction between subject headings and form/genres. Technically a subject heading is what the work is about, whereas a form/genre is what a work is. Therefore the term “DVD-Video discs” should be used as a form/genre because the movie is not ABOUT DVDs. It IS a DVD. However if your public catalog does not distinguish between subject headings and form/genres you may see both books about DVDs and actual DVDs indexing together in your public catalog.

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