DescribeNZ

a website for all New Zealand cataloguers

Genre/form Terms for New Zealand Literature

Guidelines on applying genre/form terms to bibliographic records for New Zealand literature.

Adult works

The following instructions apply to adult works that are in scope for the NZNB.

Major literary form

Headings identifying the major literary form of the work (fiction, poetry, etc.)
[note that the Subject Headings Manual calls these “nonspecific form headings’]

Individual works

For individual works of New Zealand authors, always add a local term for the major literary form using a MARC tag 655. We add these to support retrieval of all New Zealand fiction, drama, poetry, etc. by year, publisher or whatever. This policy of always adding a term to describe major literary form is not standard LCSH practice, but it is the policy for NZNB records.

Below is the complete list of the major literary form terms for adult New Zealand literature:

Tag Indicator
655 _ 7 ‡a New Zealand drama ‡y [xxx] century. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz
655 _ 7 ‡a New Zealand essays ‡y [xxx] century. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz
655 _ 7 ‡a New Zealand fiction ‡y [xxx] century. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz
655 _ 7 ‡a New Zealand poetry ‡y [xxx] century. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz
655 _ 7 ‡a Short stories, New Zealand. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz

655 _ 7 ‡a New Zealand periodicals. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz 
655 _ 7 ‡a New Zealand newspapers. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz 

Collections

For works of more than one author, the literary form is added as a standard LCSH heading (MARC tag 650) following instructions in H 1780, H 1790 & H 1800.

Use of period subdivision
The period subdivisions 20th century and 21st century reflect the date of issue of the work being catalogued.  21st century covers the period 2001-.  Because the Dewey assigned reflects the period when the author began writing, the subject period subdivision will not necessarily be the same period as the Dewey classification.  However, reissues, reprints and translations of a work will be assigned the period subdivision of the original work.

Literary genre

Terms identifying a literary genre (e.g. Historical ... , Romance ... )

A literary genre is a kind or category of imaginative work that is readily identifiable by some of the following characteristics: style, plot, device, mood or tone, character type, and theme.
Literary genre terms are added to NZNB records from the LCGFT thesaurus.

Only assign a literary genre term if the genre is obvious from a quick scan of the work. 

  • All individual literary works by a New Zealand author will have a major literary form term assigned, BUT only some of those works will also have a literary genre term. The work may not fall into a readily identifiable literary genre and so not receive that type of term.

  • LCGFT terms never include a geographic component.

  • link to Literary lcgft terms (link opens directly in Internet Explorer only) - this spreadsheet is provided for convenience only (prepared by Cathy Lamoureaux, Cataloger, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, December 2015)

Note: Not every work will automatically receive both literary form and literary genre terms. For example: If a work is published in New Zealand it will be in scope for NZNB, but if the author is not a New Zealand author then the work will not receive a major literary form term. See the Appendix for treatment of New Zealand and non-New Zealand authors in NZNB.

Subject

Subject terms are added to fiction following the instructions in Library of Congress Subject Headings manual H1790.

 

Children/young adult works

The following instructions apply to children/young adult works that are in scope for the NZNB.

New Zealand literature for children

Major literary form terms are added for individual works of fiction as shown below. As with adult fiction, this is NZNB policy and does not follow the practice suggested by LCSH. Do not add period subdivisions to major literary form terms for children's materials.

Tag Indicator
655 _ 7 ‡a Children's stories, New Zealand. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz
655 _ 7 ‡a Children's stories, Maori. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz
 

If the work of fiction is a sophisticated picture book also add the form term 655_7 Sophisticated picture books. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz

If the work of fiction is a picture book, also add the form term
655_0 Picture books for children.

Individual plays and poems for children do not need major literary form terms.  The terms listed below are all added using MARC tag 650 according to the instructions in Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings sections H1780 and H1800. This differs from the approach taken by LC for adult titles.

Tag Indicator
650 _ 0 ‡a Children's plays, New Zealand.
650 _ 0 ‡a Children's poetry, New Zealand.
650 _ 0 ‡a Children's plays, Maori.
650 _ 0 ‡a Children's poetry, Maori.

New Zealand literature for young adults

The major literary form terms listed below are added to young adult literature written by New Zealand authors. The addition of these local terms is NLNZ policy relating to National Bibliography and does not reflect LC practice.

Tag Indicator
655 _ 7 ‡a Young adult drama, New Zealand. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz
655 _ 7 ‡a Young adult fiction, New Zealand. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz AND 655_0 Young adult fiction.
655 _ 7 ‡a Young adult poetry, New Zealand. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz

Appendix: Fiction items in the National Bibliography - when to add major literary form headings

Note: these examples have a scope note “Novel", but please use whatever is appropriate for your item. Unusual combinations of nationality and language need to be discussed on a case by case basis with your team leader or a senior cataloguer.

New Zealand imprint and New Zealand author
040    NZNB
082    Dewey for author
260    New Zealand publisher
500    Novel.
655    Major literary form term
655    If applicable, literary genre term

Non - New Zealand imprint and New Zealand author
040    NZNB
082    Dewey for author
260    non - New Zealand publisher
500    Novel by a New Zealand author. [to justify inclusion in NatBib]
655    Major literary form term
655    If applicable, literary genre term  

New Zealand imprint BUT a non-NZ author
040    NZNB
082    Dewey for author
260    New Zealand publisher
500    Novel by an [American]-based author. [suggested note to clarify choice of Dewey and lack of form term]
655    No major literary form term assigned
655    If applicable, literary genre term

New Zealand setting BUT a non-NZ author
040    NZNB
082    Dewey for author
260    non - New Zealand publisher
500    Novel set in New Zealand.
655    No major literary form term assigned
655    If applicable, literary genre term

Last updated: November 29, 2018 (JHS)