In May 2015, approximately 125 genre/form terms for literary works – about half of the proposals that appeared on Tentative List 1515 – were approved. Approved List 1515 (http://classificationweb.net/approved-subjects/1515.html) consists of the terms that were approved.
Review of the remaining proposals was postponed due to staffing and workload levels within the Policy and Standards Division. Proposals from Tentative List 1515 that were not reviewed now appear on Tentative List 1516 (http://classificationweb.net/tentative-subjects/1516.html), which will be approved in September 2015.
Since early 2007, the Library of Congress has been developing Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT), whose terms describe what something is rather than what it is about, as subject headings do. In March 2015 the Policy and Standards Division (PSD) will approve approximately 390 genre/form terms for literary works.
The terms appear on Tentative List 1515, to be approved on March 2, 2015. PSD is requesting comments from the library community; please email Janis Young at [email protected] through February 18, 2015.
The literature genre/form project is a collaboration undertaken by PSD and the ALA/ALCTS Subject Analysis Committee’s Subcommittee on Genre/Form Implementation, which formed the Working Group on LCGFT Literature Terms. PSD thanks the members of the Working Group for their time and effort. Special thanks are also due to MARCIVE, Inc., who created MARC records for the proposals from a Word document provided by the Working Group.
Authorized headings in Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) were the starting point for the project, but the headings and reference structure were often adjusted for LCGFT, and numerous scope notes were added. The Working Group has also proposed a number of genre/form terms that do not appear in LCSH. All of the genre/form terms for literary works are narrower terms (NTs) in the Literature hierarchy.
Following standard policy, LC catalogers and members of the Subject Authority Cooperative (SACO) program will be able to propose additional genre/form terms for literary works as well as revisions to existing terms. PSD will separately announce the date on which it will begin to accept proposals for new and revised genre/form terms for literary works.
LC subject headings that are analogous to genre/form terms for literary works will remain valid because the subject headings should continue to be assigned to works about the literary genres and forms. Catalogers should continue to assign subject headings to works about literature according to the principles and guidelines contained in the Subject Headings Manual (SHM).
The SHM will be revised in spring 2015 to reflect new policies on assigning genre/form terms to works of literature. Until the documentation is complete, PSD recommends that libraries wishing to implement the genre/form terms assign subject headings according to the policies in the SHM, along with the new genre/form terms. Example:
Collection of poetry
100 1# $a Grandits, John.
245 13 $a Technically, it's not my fault : $b concrete poems / $c by John Grandits.
650 #0 $a Concrete poetry, American.
655 #7 $a Concrete poetry. $2 lcgft
Work about poetry
100 1# $a Westerweel, Bart, $d 1942-
245 10 $a Patterns and patterning : $b a study of four poems by George Herbert / $c by Bart Westerweel.
600 10 $a Herbert, George, $d 1593-1633 $x Criticism and interpretation.
650 #0 $a Concrete poetry, English $x History and criticism.
[additional subject headings omitted]
The Library of Congress’ Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access directorate, which catalogs most of the literary works acquired for the Library’s general collections, has not yet determined its schedule for implementing the genre/form terms for literary works. The date will be announced when it is available.