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What is it? -- Authorized Genre and Form Headings

Entry Categories: Cataloging  

After much discussion, the Library of Congress will finally start issuing authority records for genre/form headings in September. Since the MARC 655 tag, "Index Term--Genre/Form," was introduced in 1995, catalogers have used a number of sources for headings, the two most common being Library of Congress Subject Headings and Guidelines on Subject Access to Individual Works of Fiction, Drama, Etc. (better known as GSAFD). However, catalogers have long asked for authority records for headings specifically meant to designate what an item is instead of what it is about.

OCLC will start receiving the new authority records to load after September 11. Some of you may have noticed the new authority searching option, "Genre," in the Connexion 2.0 release.

In addition to the authority records, LC has also drafted a new instruction sheet (H 1913) for Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings. These first instructions cover assignment of genre and form headings to moving images specifically and provide examples such as "Survival television programs." Instruction sheets for assigning genre and form headings to other subject areas will follow later.

For more details and a copy of the draft instruction sheet, see the LC news release: Genre/Form Authority Records.

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