LC Report to ALA ALCTS CCS Subject Analysis Committee (SAC)
Subcommittee on Form Headings/Subdivisions Implementation

Thompson Yee, Acting Chief, Cataloging Policy and Support Office
June 26, 1998

During the five months since the last LC update report in New Orleans, competing priorities, especially ILS planning, continue to limit LC's planning and implementation of form/genre subject access. The following is an update of activities and the LC form/genre implementation schedule:

Data elements in authority records. The Library of Congress has completed the first series of systems tests of the additional data elements approved by MARBI for name and subject authority records as part of updates 1 and 2. The remaining testing is expected to be completed by the end of August 1998.

Subdivision authority records (18X). LC will be creating subdivision authority records for approximately 3,000 form, topical, and chronological free-floating subdivisions, based on an authority file created by Gary Strawn of Northwestern University. It is estimated that distribution of these new subdivision authority records will begin in autumn 1998. A more specific date announcement will be made as the time of actual distribution approaches.

Subfield code $v. Form subdivisions appearing in existing subject authority records will be recoded from $x to $v. Distribution of these revised records will also begin in autumn 1998, at the same time as the new subdivision records described above. Staff in the Cataloging Policy and Support Office will draft guidelines and update documentation on form sudivisions and the application of subfield code $v in bibliographic records. These guidelines will be included in 1998 Update Number 2 to the Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings, scheduled for publication in autumn 1998.

According to current projections, LC staff will begin coding form subdivisions as $v in LC subject headings assigned to bibliographic records no earlier than November 1, 1998. The Library will make further announcements as the date of actual application approaches.

Form subdivisions coded as $v are already appearing in LC bibliographic records in subject headings assigned by the National Library of Medicine from Medical Subject Headings (MeSh) to cooperative monographic and serial records, and in form/genre headings assigned from the Moving Image Genre-Form Guide to records for moving-image materials. In addition, some records used for copy cataloging purposes and distributed by LC (042 = lccopycat) contain $v in non-LCSH subject strings.

Authority records for form/genre headings (155). Creation of authority records for form/genre headings in 155 fields and more widespread assignment of form/genre terms in 655 fields of bibliographic records will occur in future stages of the form/genre implementation plan and may be phased in by format or discipline. The Library is not yet projecting any specific dates for these future stages of implementation.

Cartographic materials. In the process of cataloging digital cartographic material, the Geography and Map Division has experimented with the use of an uncontrolled index term (Maps--Digital) for form/genre access in field 653. The Geography and Map Division is considering establishing this phrase in LCSH.

Moving-image materials. The Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, Moving Image Section has been assigning terms from its Moving Image Genre-Form Guide (MIGFG) since October 1997. The guide's 150 genre and form terms have been applied to around 8,000 inventory and cataloging records created in the Division--all types of material, features, television, film, and video. "Migfg" is the subject/index term source code used in the 655 field.

For further information on MIGFG, contact Brian Taves, Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, at [email protected].

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