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Step 05: Title and Intellectual Description (cont'd)




Describe the tape as briefly as possible. Imagine that this description is all that remains of the tape. Try to convey a complete sense of what the tape's subject as well as how it looks and sounds. Ideally, descriptions should be no more than one or two paragraphs or approximately 200 words.

Location of Production or Distribution - Name of Distributor - Name of Distributor - Date of Production

Location of Production or Distribution

This field is used to denote where the production occurred. Alternatively, it can be used for the country of distribution, if that is all that is known. For films and videotapes that were produced by corporate entities, indicate the country where the production company is based. For individually produced tapes, indicate where the maker was based. Use standard designations of countries. Use United States, Great Britain (for anything made in the United Kingdom), use West Germany and East Germany for 1949 through 1990, otherwise use Germany. Use Soviet Union for 1917 through 1991. Use Russia or the name of individual countries before 1917 and after 1991.

For more specific information use a General Note. For example, for a tape produced at Experimental Television Center, the General Note field would indicate: Produced at Experimental Television Center, Owego, NY.

Name of Distributor

If the name of the distribution company is known, it should appear in this field. This will be helpful for individuals who want to exhibit the work.

Date of Production

The date of production is the date the tape was finished, the earliest copyright date, or the earliest date of distribution. Since many of the tapes you will be dealing with have not been publicly distributed, use the date that the work on the tape was first made.

For dance or performance tapes, use the date of the performance.

For copies, do not use the record date, but the date of the master.

Give as precise a date as known. The preferred form is YYYY-MM-DD:


If there is no indication of the date on the tape, but you can assign an approximate date, use square brackets:

Probable date


Questionable date


Approximate date

[ca. 1960]

One year or another

[1973 or 1974]

Span of dates fewer than 20 years apart

[between 1906 and 1912]

Probable decade


Questionable decade




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