DescribeNZ

a website for all New Zealand cataloguers

Form and genre headings for New Zealand literature

Guidelines on applying form and genre headings to bibliographic records for New Zealand literature.

Scope - adult works

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

Subject access to New Zealand Literature

Types of Subject Access

There are three types of subject access that may be provided to New Zealand literary works.

  1. Headings identifying the major literary form of the work (fiction, poetry, etc.) [note that the Subject Headings Manual calls these "nonspecific form headings"]
  2. Headings identifying the subject of the work. (e.g. novel about Te Kooti)
  3. Headings identifying a literary genre (e.g. detective novels)

 

Please note that not every work will automatically receive all three types of subject access. 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 heading;
  •  The work may not fit into the criteria outlined in section 4 of H1790 and therefore not receive any headings identifying the subject of the work;
  •  The work may not fall into a readily identifiable literary genre and so not receive that type of subject access.

Each type of subject access should be assessed separately following the instructions below.
Please also see the examples contained in the appendix towards th bottom of the page below for some of the combinations possible.

1. Major literary form

  • 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.
  • Individual works: For individual works of New Zealand authors, always add a local heading for the major literary form using a MARC tag 655.  We add these headings to support retrieval of all New Zealand fiction, drama, poetry, etc. by year, publisher or whatever.  A complete list of the major literary form headings for adult literature appears in the table below.


655 _ 7 ‡a New Zealand drama‡y 20th [or 21st] century. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz
655 _ 7 ‡a New Zealand essays‡y 20th [or 21st] century. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz
655 _ 7 ‡a New Zealand fiction‡y 20th [or 21st] century. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz
655 _ 7 ‡a New Zealand poetry‡y 20th [or 21st] 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

This policy of always adding a heading to describe major literary form is not standard LCSH practice, but it is the policy for NZNB records.

(See Genre headings for serials for the policy of when to apply the New Zealand periodicals and New Zealand newspapers genre heading)

 

Previous NLNZ practice:

These headings have been coded in different ways prior to May 2011 and until we are able to get database maintenance work completed you will see old headings coded as in the examples below. These are now out of date.
Obsolete heading examples: Do not use
655 _ 7 ‡a New Zealand fiction‡y 20th [or 21st] century. ‡2 lcsh
655 _ 0 ‡a New Zealand fiction‡y 20th [or 21st] century.
655 _ 0 ‡a Children's stories, New Zealand.
655 _ 7 ‡a Children's stories, New Zealand. ‡2 lcsh

See the appendix towards the bottom of the page for treatment of New Zealand and non-New Zealand authors in NZNB.

 

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.

2. Subject of the work

Other subject headings are added to works of fiction following the instructions in H1790 of the Subject Cataloging Manual  no. 4 (Individual works of fiction) and no. 5 (Limitations on assigning headings).

3. Literary genre

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 headings are added to NZNB records from Guidelines on subject access to individual works of fiction, drama, etc. 2nd ed. following the instructions in the Subject Cataloging Manual H1790, Special Provisions for Increased Subject Access to Fiction. no. 2 (General principles) and no. 3 (Form and genre headings).

List of gsafd terms

  • Only assign a literary genre heading if the genre is obvious from a quick scan of the work. 
  • Note that all literary works by a New Zealand author, will have a major literary form heading assigned, but only some of those works will also have literary genre headings assigned.
  • Please note that genre headings never include a geographic component. For example, Love stories, New Zealand is not valid as a 655, no matter what you see in existing records


Examples of commonly-used genre headings

655 _ 7 ‡a Historical fiction. ‡2 gsafd
655 _ 7 ‡a Love stories. ‡2 gsafd
655 _ 7 ‡a Mystery fiction. ‡2 gsafd
655 _ 7 ‡a Romantic suspense fiction. ‡2 gsafd
655 _ 7 ‡a Science fiction.  ‡2 gsafd

Example of application of genre headings

245 1 0 ‡a Angel's blood /‡c Nalini Singh.
655 _ 7 ‡a New Zealand fiction‡y 21st century. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz
655 _ 7 ‡a Romantic suspense fiction. ‡2 gsafd
655 _ 7 ‡a Fantasy fiction. ‡2 gsafd
655 _ 7 ‡a Love stories. ‡2 gsafd

 

Previous NLNZ practice:

Literary genre headings were coded as LCSH headings prior to May 2011.  This coding was shown in two different methods at different times. You will see records with older coding until the required database maintenance work can be completed.

Obsolete heading examples: Do not use

655 _ 7 ‡a Science fiction. ‡2 lcsh

655 _ 0 ‡a Science fiction.

 

Scope - children/young adult works

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

Books that are New Zealand literature for children

Major literary form headings 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 for juvenile materials.


655 _ 7 ‡a Children's stories, New Zealand. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz
655 _ 7 ‡a Children's stories, Maori. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz
New coding adopted May 2011
 

Individual plays and poems for children do not need major literary form headings.  The subject headings 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.


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.

Books that are New Zealand literature for young adults

The major literary form headings listed below are added to young adult literature that is in scope for NZNB and written by New Zealand authors.  As with the Children's stories headings, the addition of these headings is a policy relating to NZNB and does not reflect LC practice.


655 _ 7 ‡a Young adult drama, New Zealand. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz
655 _ 7 ‡a Young adult fiction, New Zealand. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz
655 _ 7 ‡a Young adult poetry, New Zealand. ‡2 local ‡5 Nz
New coding adopted May 2011

 

Special Collections

Genre headings are added to records in three special collections:
1. The Dorothy Neal White Collection (not yet changed May 2011)
2. The Rare Books and Fine Printing Collection. Records in these collections from several special thesauri. (no changes required May 2011)
3. Print Disabilities Collection.  (not yet changed May 2011)
Instructions for the Dorothy Neal White Collection and the Print Disabilities collection will be updated in consultation with the staff who work with those collections.

 

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 heading
655    If applicable, literary genre heading

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 heading
655    If applicable, literary genre heading  

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 heading]
655    No major literary form heading assigned
655    If applicable, literary genre heading
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 heading assigned
655    If applicable, literary genre heading