A Cataloging Policy Committee Discussion Paper
June 16, 1999
A new index, the genre/form index, will be created in our new WebPAC.
A genre/form index contains terms indicating the genre, form, and/or physical characteristics of the materials being described. These terms are assigned from the Library of Congress Subject Headings or other thesauri and glossaries. The MARC21 Bibliographic Format lists a number of thesauri that may be used (Figure 1). Genre terms designate specific kinds of materials distinguished by style (e.g., biographies, essays, hymns, science fiction films). Form terms designate historically and functionally specific kinds of material (e.g., daybooks, directories, maps, questionnaires, scores). The idea behind genre/form terms is to add headings that describe what an item is in the genre/form term field separately from what an item is about, which is described in topical subject headings.
Entries in the genre/form index come from the 655 field (Index Term--Genre/Form) and from the subfield v (form subdivision) of other 6xx fields (Figure 2). Our catalog already has over 3000 records that contain 655 fields and we have been coding subfield v's in 6xx fields in original and copy cataloging since late 1998. The 655 field is currently not searchable in any way in our catalog. Also in 1998 we implemented a copy cataloging genre/form policy for juvenile materials in the Children's Literature Collection. The copy cataloger for these materials is changing topical headings to 655 genre/form headings when appropriate. Most of the other 655 fields in our catalog have come from LC and public library records with fiction genre headings and from cataloging we have purchased and loaded for microform sets. Initially a genre/form index will be relatively small in our catalog.
For an example of an implemented WebPAC genre/form index, see the University of Oregon's catalog where genre/form searching falls under "Call Number and Other Searches" at http://janus.uoregon.edu/screens/callnumb.html. Figure 3 shows the search results screen for a genre/form search on "diaries" from Oregon's catalog.
Genre/form terms are not a new concept. Catalogers have been assigning genre/form terms all along, but they have been coded as topical subject headings. The 655 field was actually added to the USMARC bibliographic format in the 1980s. Our WebPAC team decided that our new catalog should have an index to take advantage of the ability to code genre/form terms separately from topics. Although this index is not yet available in WebPAC, it will be added soon.
There are currently no general UW policies for the use and maintenance of genre/form terms and no LC authority records for them. LC is planning to begin creating authority records for genre/form terms within the next few years.
UW catalogers (with the exception of juvenile genre/form headings noted
above) have been assigning genre/form terms but coding them as subjects
even when the item is an example of the genre/form rather than about it.
MARC record examples of "old" coding, using 650 subject headings for genre terms:
Last updated: 05-24-99 Created: 05-22-95 Revision: 7
01 LANG: eng 03 LOCATION: ug 05 BIB LVL: m 07 PUB DISP: -
02 SKIP: 0 04 CAT DA:09-29-96 06 REC TYPE: g 08 COUNTRY: ii
09 001 35201722
10 003 OCoLC
11 005 19960807125246.0
12 007 vfucbahom
13 008 960807s1994 ii 048 vleng dngmIa
14 040 WAU|cWAU
15 041 engind
16 043 a-ii---
17 245 00 Forty seven seconds and after|h[videorecording] :|bLatur, Osmanabad /|cPrakruti Films
18 246 3 47 seconds and after
19 260 Fremont CA :|bIndia Relief and Education Fund,|c
20 300 1 videocassette (48 min.) :|bsd., col. ;|c1/2 in
21 500 In English and Indic languages with English subtitles
22 508 Producer/director/commentary, Suma Josson; camera, Sudhir Palsane, M. Pradhan, K. Joglekar
23 520 A documentary examining the relief work after the 1993 earthquake in Latur, Marathawada, especially in Killari, the nearest town to the epicenter. It takes a critical look at the rehabilitation programs for the victims
24 538 VHS
25 650 0 Documentary films
26 650 0 Earthquakes|zIndia|zKillari, September 30, 1993
27 650 0 Disaster relief|zIndia|zMarathwada Region
28 650 0 Earthquakes|xSocial aspects
29 700 1 Josson, Suma
30 710 2 Prakruti Films
31 710 2 India Relief and Education Fund
32 941 .b32142833
33 945 5 Videorecord IREF 001|ltamed|t49|b39352041874900
34 948 .b32142833
Last updated: 05-24-99 Created: 08-23-95 Revision: 7
01 LANG: eng 03 LOCATION: sc 05 BIB LVL: m 07 PUB DISP: -
02 SKIP: 4 04 CAT DA:03-31-96 06 REC TYPE: a 08 COUNTRY: wau
09 001 30578343
10 003 OCoLC
11 005 19960228173723.0
12 008 940609s1993 waua 000 0 eng dnamIa
13 040 OUN|cOUN|dWAU
14 090 N7433.4.F38|bA58 1993x
15 100 1 Faye, Jules Remedios
16 245 14 The annunciation :|ban allegorical tale of the Virgin as warrior & protectress : to be used as a portable alter /|cJules Remedios Faye
17 260 Seattle :|bStreet of Crocodiles,|c1993
18 300 1 v. ;|c26 cm
19 500 A triptych book of black Strathmore paper over boards, printed in gold ink. Copper trim lines a seven-color linoblock print of the Virgin mounted on the central panel. The text, handset in perpetua and printed within a two-color border is mounted on the side panels which are connected by copper hinges
20 500 Limited to 50 copies signed by the artist
21 590 Letterpress printed
22 650 0 Artists' books|zWashington (State)|zSeattle
23 710 2 Street of Crocodiles (Press)
24 941 .b34659109
25 945 1 N7433.4.F38 A4 1993|lscba|t7|b39352041248543
MARC record example of "new" coding, using 655 for genre/form terms and subfield v for form subdivisions:
Last updated: 05-24-99 Created: 05-05-97 Revision: 9
01 LANG: eng 03 LOCATION: ug 05 BIB LVL: m 07 PUB DISP: -
02 SKIP: 0 04 CAT DA:06-29-97 06 REC TYPE: a 08 COUNTRY: nyu
09 001 36159570
10 003 OCoLC
11 005 19970602131731.0
12 008 961224s1997 nyu 000 1 eng cam8a
13 010 96054050
14 020 156924748X
15 040 DLC|cDLC|dJED|dCLE|dWAU
16 043 n-us---
17 050 00 PS3566.E736|bA65 1997
18 082 00 813/.54|221
19 100 1 Pesci, David
20 245 10 Amistad /|cDavid Pesci
21 260 New York :|bMarlowe and Co.,|c1997
22 300 292 p. ;|c22 cm
23 600 10 Adams, John Quincy,|d1767-1848|vFiction
24 610 20 Amistad (Schooner)|vFiction
25 650 0 Slave insurrections|zUnited States|vFiction
26 650 0 Trials (Mutiny)|zUnited States|xHistory|y19th century|vFiction
27 650 0 Slave trade|zUnited States|xHistory|y19th century|vFiction
28 655 7 Biographical fiction.|2gsafd
29 655 7 Historical fiction.|2gsafd
30 655 7 Adventure stories.|2gsafd
31 941 .b38010203
32 945 1 PS3566.E736 A65 1997|lugstx|b39352046039889
33 948 .b38010203
ISSUES TO CONSIDER
Issue 1 – Thesauri
Thesauri consulted are noted as an abbreviation in the 655 field:
655 7 Diaries.|2lcsh
Although a list of approved thesauri exists (Figure 1), will the Libraries decide to give preference to certain thesauri? Should there be a hierarchy of which thesauri to turn to first; for example first LCSH, then GSAFD, etc.? Or should we limit ourselves to a “short list” from the larger list of thesauri? If, within one bibliographic record, different genre/form headings are appropriate from different thesauri, may all be used? Should we create local authority records for the terms chosen, thus providing cross-referencing in the online catalog? Would we want to create authorities records ahead of time by entering an entire thesaurus into the Libraries' catalog? Who would be responsible for genre/form authorities creation?
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that the attached list of thesauri be used by the Libraries, with LCSH (and GSAFD for fiction) as preferred starting places, and others to be used when LCSH is inadequate. The LCSH headings are available online; other thesauri should be photocopied or purchased and distributed to cataloging staff and/or retained in a central location. If there are other thesauri we would like to see added to the MARC21 Bibliographic Format list, we should petition LC to assign codes for them.
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend against assigning different terms from diverse thesauri if the terms mean the same thing (e.g. using “Detective and mystery stories” from Thesaurus A and “Whodunits” from Thesaurus B).
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that we explore the possibility of creating authority records for genre/form terms in our local catalog and that the Authorities Librarian, the Principal Cataloger, and any other interested parties begin this process.
Issue 2 – Adding local headings
If an approved genre/form heading does not exist, should catalogers devise new headings? Local headings must be noted with the code “local” in the 655. Should individual catalogers be free to establish genre/form terms on their own or should there be a review process within the Libraries to examine/approve locally produced headings? Who would supervise this process, and what would the process be? Will we maintain a list of locally used headings?
MARC record example of 655 "local" heading added:
Last updated: 05-06-99 Created: 10-10-97 Revision: 4
01 LANG: eng 03 LOCATION: szb 05 BIB LVL: m 07 PUB DISP: -
02 SKIP: 0 04 CAT DA:10-10-97 06 REC TYPE: a 08 COUNTRY: sz
09 001 33218004
10 003 OCoLC
11 005 19971009155143.0
12 008 950928s1995 sz 000 0 eng ccam a
13 040 COF|cCOF|dWAU
14 042 pcc
15 049 WAUW
16 050 4 SF408.6.P93|bI57 1995
17 245 00 International studbook for the pygmy hippopotamus, Choeropsis liberiensis (Morton 1844) /|c[studbook keeper, Kathleen Tobler]
18 250 8th ed
19 260 [Basel] :|bZoological Garden Basel,|c1995
20 300 v, 93, ix p. ;|c21 cm
21 650 0 Pygmy hippopotamus|vPedigrees
22 650 0 Pygmy hippopotamus|vRegisters
23 650 0 Pygmy hippopotamus|xBreeding
24 650 0 Captive mammals|vRegisters
25 650 0 Zoo animals|vRegisters
26 655 7 Studbooks.|2local
27 700 1 Tobler, Kathleen
28 710 2 Zoologischer Garten Basel
29 945 1 SF408.6.P93 I57 1995|lszstx|b39352046242095
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that individual catalogers be allowed to create their own genre/form headings and that there should be a process for recording these headings Libraries-wide. Possibilities include making a genre/form headings list available via the Web or using locally-created authorities records in Denali as a de facto list. When LC is ready to accept proposals for new genre/form headings, we recommend that as many of our locally-produced headings as possible be established in the national authorities file through SACO.
Issue 3 – Current, ongoing cataloging practices
The most heartening aspect of the genre/form heading issue is that we
are working towards building much more sophisticated cataloging records
for the future. In ten, twenty, or fifty years, genre/form heading
information should grow to be widespread. What should our cataloging
practices be in 1999? Questions to consider:
1. Should original catalogers now begin coding genre/form terms in bibliographic records as 655s rather than as 650s?
RECOMMENDATION for #1: We recommend that catalogers begin coding genre/form terms as 655s.
2. Should original catalogers begin assigning genre/form terms for materials for which they have not previously assigned terms, e.g. fiction, drama, poetry?
3. Are 655s desired in ALL cases (when applicable), or will the Libraries designate certain types of materials (e.g. musical works, fiction, rare books, videorecordings) as “targets” for genre/form heading treatment?
4. If we target certain areas, how best can we involve the subject selectors in this discussion?
RECOMMENDATION for #2, #3, #4: We recommend that further discussion of these issues take place between catalogers, subject selectors, and public services staff, possibly within the context of CPC, Selectors’ meetings or other appropriate venues.
5. Should catalogers duplicate terms in 655s that already appear in 6xx, subfield v (form subdivision)?
6. Should catalogers add subdivisions within the 655? Should catalogers try to bring out the geographic, chronological, or topical aspects within genre/form (see “Diaries” example, Figure 3)?
RECOMMENDATION for #5 & #6: In general, we recommend against duplicating terms in 655s which are already found in form subdivisions. We recommend that only subfield a in 655 be assigned but we recognize that user and departmental needs may warrant more detailed treatment in some cases.
7. Should complex and/or quick copy catalogers begin changing coding for genre/form to 655s? Should quick catalogers change the subfield coding of form subdivisions in subject headings from x to v? Should complex copy catalogers assign genre/form terms to records that lack them?
RECOMMENDATION for #7: We recommend that complex copy catalogers begin changing coding for genre/form to 655s as well as assigning genre/form terms to records that lack them. We recommend that a single policy be adopted to address the duties of both complex copy catalogers and original catalogers. Further study needs to be done on the impact on workflow overall, and of training quick catalogers to recode form subdivisions and genre/form headings.
Issue 4 – Retrospective treatment of existing data
Should we have a goal of converting all genre/form information in existing bibliographic records to current coding standards? How high a priority is this for the Libraries? Are there certain types of materials which we would convert first? If so, which materials, and how would we decide?
RECOMMENDATION: We feel that accomplishing such a conversion is desirable. However, much more discussion should take place regarding priorities and costs.
Issue 5 – Should genre/form headings be rotated?
Currently, terms in the subject heading indexes are rotated. Should we rotate terms in the genre/form index as well? See Figure 4 for an example from the University of Oregon catalog.
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that genre/form headings be rotated.
Go back to 1999 Agendas.