DescribeNZ

a website for all New Zealand cataloguers

National Library of New Zealand Policy on Genre Headings

Definitions

Subject headings describe what something is about.

Genre/form headings describe what something is.

A genre is a category of works that share the same style or theme, e.g. detective novels.

A form is a characteristic of works produced in the same physical format or for the same purpose, e.g. topographic maps, cookbooks.

Library of Congress thesaurus

The Library of Congress has established a new thesaurus: Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT). At the time of writing (August 2011) terms have been added to this thesaurus for cartographic materials, motion pictures, cookery books, non-musical sound recordings and legal materials. Work is underway on terms to cover music and religion, and the next project area is literature.

The only authoritative list for LCGFT genre/form terms is that supplied by the Library of Congress as authority records in our databases. Lists within our manual are for illustrative purposes and are not intended to be comprehensive. Other lists are available for reference, but they are also not necessarily up to date and should be used with caution.

For more information on the LCGFT Genre/Form project, and a very good set of FAQs, please see: Genre/Form Headings at the Library of Congress.

MARC codes for genre/form terms

Authority records from this thesaurus are being added to the ILS and NUC. These authority records are characterised by the subfield $f lcgft in the 040 field.

Terms from this thesaurus are coded in bibliographic records as shown below:

655 _7 |a [Term.] |2 lcgft

Example: 655 _7 |a Topographic maps. |2 lcgft

Genre/form at the National Library

As new groups of terms are added to this thesaurus the National Library cataloguers will be updating our policies.

Current National Library genre/form headings practice: