a website for all New Zealand cataloguers

Law materials genre headings

Genre/form terms for law materials

Always consider the possibility of adding Library of Congress form/genre terms when cataloguing legal materials. Many legal materials will not have an applicable form or genre heading. Remember that the form or genre heading should reflect the overall content of the work, the 20% rule does not apply.

All authorities have been loaded on the NUC and ILS and those should be used as the authoritative source. There is a browse list available [pdf] which can be used as quick reference for ideas on available headings, but it does not cover all possibilities and the scope notes are not authoritative. The headings on the list marked with an asterisk are general terms which are not necessarily authorised; they are included as potentially useful but have no particular legal context.

The list below is not comprehensive - check the current authority records for relevant headings.

National Library application

The notes below are intended to help cataloguers interpret some United States headings in a New Zealand context. It is important to be aware that New Zealand terminology may be different to United States terminology.

This is not a complete list, it only lists headings where some explanation is needed.

Administrative regulations Use for New Zealand Regulations and other subordinate legislation. Caution: the work must be entirely this and not simply a part. Note, the Act should be under Statutes and Codes.

By-laws Do not use. See notes under Municipal ordinances.

Casebooks Use with caution. Must be a textbook focused primarily on case law, not a general term for textbooks.

Claims Use with caution. Must be for the actual text of the claim, rather than a resulting decision (i.e. do not use for Waitangi tribunal reports).

Commentaries (Civil law system) Do not use. New Zealand is a common law system, not a civil law system.

Hornbooks Don’t use. This heading seems to be in common use in the United States for a particular series of study aids. The scope note suggests it could be used more widely. Advice is that New Zealand law professionals are unfamiliar with this term so NLNZ is choosing not to apply it. We will apply the subject form subdivision Textbooks where appropriate.

Law for laypersons Likely to be used commonly for easy lawbooks and guides intended for the public (i.e. not intended for professionals). Generally will be applied in conjunction with subject form subdivision Popular works.

Law materials Don’t use. This heading is intended to direct people to the narrower terms, not to be used on individual works.

Municipal ordinances Should be used for New Zealand by-laws.

Statutes and Codes Use for New Zealand Acts. Caution: the work must be entirely this and not simply a part. Note, the regulations and other subordinate legislation should be under Administrative regulations.


Page created Dec. 19, 2011