Policy: Finding Aids Links in MARC Records


There are three methods of creating links to finding aids in Alma: an 856 in the bibliographic record, a 555 in the bibliographic record, or adding a portfolio for the finding aid to the record for the collection.

  • Addition of a portfolio for the finding aid is problematic because users may think the entire collection is available online when it is not.
  • Use of 555 field in bibliographic records, while common for some libraries, is not a universal practice.
  • Use of 856 is the common and standard practice in bibliographic records. In addition, an 856 allows for libraries to provide a link to the finding aid in the Item Details tab in Primo.


Institutions that provide access to finding aids will do so using an 856 in the WorldCat record and include the phrase “Finding aid” (without quotes) in $3 or $z.


Current phase: Phase 5: Approved

Written by: Technical Services Working Group

Approved by: Technical Services Working Group on 03/30/2017

Last updated: 04/06/2017

Nature of last update: final draft approved