General Collection Phase Box Processing Procedures

Older printed materials in poor physical condition and extremely small books are placed in phase boxes or other containers to protect the materials. The following procedures will help ensure that the materials are properly described and processed.

Workflow: Since books get phase boxes at different stages in the workflow, a checklist will be used to ensure that all of the steps have been completed before the books become available to the public.

  1. All books in phase boxes should eventually be sent to Marking.

  2. If the book with the phase box does not have a checklist with it (or if the catalog record notes are not checked off on the checklist), Marking will send book to the designated Bib Access member (currently Julie Swaner).

  3. The Bib Access member will add the notes to the records and ensure that two identical barcodes are used. S/he will add the checklist flag to the book and return to Marking.

  4. Marking will add the call number labels and the "no ILL sticker" and then get the book stamped and stripped.

  5. Once everything is checked off on the checklist, the book is ready to be shelved.

Tasks per RCMS Unit:


  • After the phase box has been made for the book, do one of the following:

    • Return to the RCMS unit that sent the book (Collection Dev, Acq., or Marking)

    • Or, if Access Services sent it down, give the book to Marking.


  • If general collection material is in a phase box, do NOT stamp and strip.*

Bib Access:

  • Catalog Record Notes:

    • Add the following note to the bib record:

    • 590 Moody Library's copy housed in container ([size]) due to poor physical condition.**
    • Add the following note to the item record:

    • x No ILL checkout due to poor physical condition.

  • Barcodes:

    • Two identical barcodes should be used: one of the back of the book, the other on the back of the phase box (both in upper right corner).

      • If the book already has a single barcode on it, do one of the following:

        • The existing barcode can be marked out and replaced with a new set of duplicate barcodes

        • Or, a duplicate barcode can be made with the barcode duplicator machines from Access Services.

  • Notes to Bib Access members:

    • If cataloging a book already in a phase box, do not worry about adding the phase box notes to the records. Please DO use two identical barcodes-one on the book and one on the box. Prepare the book for Marking as usual.

    • If cataloging a book that might need a phase box, finish cataloging as usual, and add a flag to the book, saying that it needs to be sent to Preservation. Marking will send the book to Preservation, which-if determined that a phase box is needed-will return the book to Marking. Marking will then send the book in the phase box to the designated Bib Access staff member, who will add the notes to the catalog record, etc.


  • Call Number Labels:

    • Two duplicate call number labels: one on the book and one on the phase box.

  • Sticker:

    • A "No ILL" sticker should go on the back of the phase box, underneath the barcode.

  • Stamping and Stripping:

    • At the very end of the process, Marking will take the items to Acq. for stamping and stripping.

*We need stamping and stripping done at the end of the process, because we anticipate some of these materials coming through Acquisitions before a decision has been made about ‘which collection.'

**If the book is not in poor condition, you can leave off that part of the note.

Document created 9/2008; last revised 10/16/2008.