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What's Up With LCGFT (LC's Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials)? Amy Pennington Catalog Librarian, Pius XII Memorial Library, Saint Louis.

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Presentation on theme: "What's Up With LCGFT (LC's Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials)? Amy Pennington Catalog Librarian, Pius XII Memorial Library, Saint Louis."— Presentation transcript:

1 What's Up With LCGFT (LC's Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials)?
Amy Pennington Catalog Librarian, Pius XII Memorial Library, Saint Louis University Missouri Library Association Conference Oct. 4, 2012 Caveats Impetus for this came out of confusion among our catalogers – things seemed to be changing often – everyone’s practice seemed to vary – tried to sit down and figure out what was what. Still somewhat confused and things are still changing and there’s still not a lot of consistency in practice!

2 LCGFT: What are they and how are they different from LCSH?
Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials They describe what the item/resource *is* rather than what the item/resource is *about* ‘Documentary films’ as a subject heading (LCSH) would be added to a record for a book *about* documentary films 650_0 Documentary films. ‘Documentary films’ as a genre/form term would be added to a record for a documentary film itself 655_7 Documentary films. $2 lcgft They were originally part of LCSH – then separated out into their own index – May 2011 Old headings (with LCCN prefix ‘sh’) were marked for deletion and new ones (with LCCN prefix ‘gf’) created

3 Example of old (now deleted) genre term authority record:

4 Current LCGFT authority record
Note the LCCN with ‘sh’ prefix that was copied from the deleted record and entered in 010 $z Subj ‘z’ = other 040 $f lcgft

5 Are LCGFT the only genre/form terms?
Nope! There are lots of controlled vocabularies/thesauri that include genre/form terms, including: Getty’s Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) LC’s GSAFD (Guidelines on Subject Access to Individual Works of Fiction, Drama, Etc.) – though it’s likely that LCGFT for literature will replace this… LCSH (some LCSH can be used as genre/form terms – more on this in a few slides!) Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) – provides for some publication types (which are essentially “forms”) LC’s Thesaurus for Graphic Materials (TGM) Genre Terms: A Thesaurus for Use in Rare Book and Special Collections Cataloging (RBMS – Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of ACRL) Newspaper Genre List

6 What’s the difference between a form and a genre?
Form is defined as “a characteristic of works with a particular format and/or purpose.” Moving image examples: Short, Animation, Documentary Law examples: Treaties, Statutes and codes, Wills Genre “refers to categories of works that are characterized by similar plots, themes, settings, situations, and characters.” Moving image examples: Western, Thriller, Fantasy, Comedy Literature examples: Mysteries, Historical fiction, Fairy tales LCGFT often combines the two in one term Horror films, Comedy films, Fantasy television programs The first part of the term is the genre while the second part is the form

7 Moving toward a “faceted” system
Terms are a single word or phrase that contain only one concept (or possibly include both a form and a genre in some cases…) and that are entirely contained within $a No subdivision of any kind is allowed in LCGFT Significant word brought to the front, not combined with other significant words ‘Sports films’ and ‘Fantasy films’ and ‘Feature films’ instead of ‘Fantasy sports films’ or ‘Sports feature films’ Provides general collocation of “like” items while allowing for post-search limiting Terms are not intended to repeat data already found elsewhere in the bibliographic record (language, etc.)

8 Types of terms already “authorized”:
LCGFT are being implemented on a discipline-by-discipline basis Moving images (films, television programs, and video recordings) Spoken-word recorded sounds (including radio programs) Legal materials Cartographic materials All of these are currently included in the genre/form term list and are usable! Can be found in the ‘Genre’ index in OCLC Connexion LC Authorities website (included in ‘Subject’ index) ClassWeb Supplemental Vocabularies volume of LCSH

9 Projects still in process (or not yet in process):
Music – LC working with Music Library Association Have begun to develop a new thesaurus of terms representing vocabulary for the medium of performance of musical works Celtic harp, Bongo, Cell phones, Voice (Musical medium of performance) Also a list of terms describing genres and forms of musical works Blues (Music), Fiddle tunes, Sacred songs Religion – LC working with The American Theological Library Association Literature All LCSH form subdivisions are being looked at – some will be recommended as genre/form headings Abstracts, Pamphlets, Quotations, Rules, Diaries, Dictionaries Other projects if requested, pending the approval of LC Acquisitions and Bibliographic Directorate managers

10 MARC tagging/coding for LCGFT:
655_7 [Term]. $2 lcgft LC does not allow for any type of subdivision (geographic, topical, chronological, form) with genre/form terms. Many ask “Why??!!” The main reason for this goes back to the desire for a “faceted” system Much debate on the issue! Example - Title: American Map Virginia state road atlas 655_7 Road maps. $2 lcgft 655_7 Atlases. $2 lcgft All of the road maps that the library holds will be collocated, without regard for the form (e.g., folded sheet map, atlas, wall map, digital map). The search can then be limited to atlases, if desired.

11 Using LCSH as Genre/Form
LC *does* tell us we can use certain LCSH as genre/form terms and code them as 655 fields! For disciplines not yet included in the term list (i.e. literature) “If the scope note [of the LCSH] says that the heading is used for works of a given type, then it can be used in a 655 field. If the scope note says that a heading is used for works about (or on) a given topic, then it cannot be assigned to a 655 field. If there is no scope note, then the cataloger should use his or her best judgment.” 655_0 Short stories. [note 2nd indicator 0 for LCSH; no $2 needed] 655_7 Interactive art. $2 local [scope note specifies heading is for works on art, not the works of art themselves…] See LC’s FAQ, Q #35 for more info - Problems with this include “split file” issues in our catalogs

12 More on using LCSH as Genre/Form
List of LCSH topical headings usable as form/genre headings by Joel Hahn Not necessarily authoritative, but very helpful! View list by category or entire list sorted alphabetically

13 Cartographic Materials (Maps!)
Cartographic headings have been simplified (and are now more “faceted”): Before: 651_0 Alamo Reservoir $v Maps, Bathymetric. After: 651_0 Alamo Reservoir $v Maps. 655_7 Bathymetric maps. $2 lcgft Those form subdivisions for specific types of maps have been cancelled; the entry order was reversed so that the specific type of map comes first. These changes are resulting in a lot of necessary bibliographic file maintenance! Also, recently a discussion paper was put out regarding treatment of globes in LCGFT (LC’s PSD (Policy and Standards Division) works with LC’s Geography and Maps Division on these matters)

14 Types of terms for moving images:
Genre Comedy films, Documentary films, Fantasy television programs Duration Feature films, Short films Fiction/Nonfiction Can (should?) we use these as well as more specific terms – OLAC (Online Audiovisual Catalogers) best practices say yes to both – it’s okay to use terms at different levels of hierarchy Accessibility Video recordings for the hearing impaired, Video recordings for people with visual disabilities Guidance on applying moving image and radio program genre/form terms can be found in Subject Headings Manual (SHM), instruction sheets H 1913 and H LC (PSD) says separate documentation for applying LCGFT is forthcoming (will be separated out from SHM)

15 More on moving images: “Character- and franchise-based terms” cancelled (ca. 90 of them) Before: 655_7 Friday the 13th films. $2 lcgft After: _7 Slasher films. $2 lcgft AND 650 _0 Voorhees, Jason (Fictitious character) $v Drama. Before: 655_7 Pirates of the Caribbean films. $2 lcgft After: _7 Pirate films. $2 lcgft AND 655_7 Comedy films. $2 lcgft AND 650_0 Sparrow, Jack (Fictitious character) $v Drama. Check tagging on these…

16 A few more “character- or franchise-based” examples:
Before: 655_7 Harry Potter films. $2 lcgft After: _7 Fantasy films. $2 lcgft AND 650_0 Potter, Harry (Fictitious character)$v Drama. AND 650_0 Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (Imaginary organization) $v Drama. Before: 655_7 Toy Story films. $2 lcgft After: _7 Comedy films. $2 lcgft 655_7 Children’s films. $2 lcgft 655_7 Computer animation films. $2 lcgft Why did they decide to cancel these? LCSH terms often took care of the character- or franchise-specific aspect Terms were not being consistently applied “Library of Congress to Cancel LCGFT Character- and Franchise-Based Terms for Moving Images (November 23, 2011)” - Add link to announcement w/examples

17 Moving images: Goldfinger
Goldfinger (a James bond film) 650 _0 Bond, James (Fictitious character) $v Drama. 655 _7 Action and adventure films. $2 lcgft 655 _7 Spy films. $2 lcgft 655 _7 Film adaptations. $2 lcgft 655 _7 Feature films. $2 lcgft 655 _7 Fiction films. $2 lcgft 655_7 Video recordings for the hearing impaired. $2 lcgft Some genres, some forms, different hierarchies Spies Drama Espionage Drama

18 Sports films Sport-specific terms have also been cancelled! For a film such as Bull Durham… Before: 655_7 Baseball films. $2 lcgft After: 650_0 Baseball $v Drama. 655_7 Sports films. $2 lcgft Decision followed the same logic that led to the cancellation of the character- and franchise-based terms “Library of Congress to Cancel LCGFT Sport-Specific Terms for Moving Images (April 24, 2012) -

19 Local options for moving images:
OLAC (Online Audiovisual Catalogers) put out a best practices document and recommends some things you can do locally Library of Congress Genre-Form Thesaurus (LCGFT) for Moving Images: Best Practices - Geographic, language, national aspects LC does not specifically provide for/allow this using genre/form fields (though they are addressed in other places in the bibliographic record) Genre/form terms are not to be subdivided at all, according to LC But OLAC says, for a film produced in France with the dialogue in French, you could do the following: 655 _7 Motion pictures $z France. $2 local 655 _7 French language films. $2 local If the action of the film also takes place in France, that would be brought out in geographic subject headings with Drama

20 I want to start using these
I want to start using these! How can my library acquire LCGFT authority records? Authority records are distributed through three main mechanisms: Through the MARC Distribution Service (MDS), which distributes LCGFT authority records as part of its Subject-Authorities product. MDS provides records in MARC 21 and MARCXML formats via FTP. This fee-based subscription service provides new and updated records on a weekly basis. Through LC Authorities ( a free web-based database that allows for browsing, display, and download (in MARC 21 format) of individual authority records. Through LC’s SKOS-based interface, Authorities and Vocabularies ( which allows for browsing, display, and visualization of LCGFT terms, as well as the downloading (in RDF/XML, N-Triples, and JSON formats) of the entire LCSH and LCGFT files. [Through a 3rd party authorities vendor (Marcive, etc.)] LCGFT terms are also available for viewing online through Classification Web (‘Search Genre/Form Terms’) Searchable in the ‘Genre’ index in OCLC Connexion Also available in printed form as part of Library of Congress Subject Headings (though it will eventually be separated out) ClassWeb shows you hierarchies – start with Fiction Films – see narrower terms – Crime, Epic, Haunted House, etc.

21 Searched ‘Fiction films’ in Genre/Form in ClassWeb:

22 Can I propose new genre/form terms?
FAQ Q27: Is there any documentation about proposing new and revised genre/form terms? A: Guidance on proposing moving image and radio program genre/form terms can be found in the Subject Headings Manual (SHM), instruction sheets H 1913 and H , respectively. For general information on references, scope notes, and the like, other SHM instruction sheets, particularly H 187-H 400, should be consulted. Additionally, catalogers can use the approved genre/form terms as patterns for new proposals. SACO libraries should consult the SACO web page ( for technical procedures on making proposals. SACO = Subject Authority Cooperative Program; part of PCC (Program for Cooperative Cataloging) - FAQ REVISED Q28: Who may propose new genre/form terms, and in what disciplines? A: Library of Congress catalogers and SACO libraries working with moving images, non-musical sound recordings, and cartographic materials may propose genre/form terms as needed. The date on which SACO libraries may contribute proposals for law materials will be announced when it is available. FAQ Q29: May SACO libraries submit proposals to revise genre/form authority records? A: SACO proposals to revise existing genre/form authority records may be submitted through the same SACO workstream that is used for proposed updates to subject authority records. The proposed changes should be supported by research, just as any change proposal is.

23 Some issues/options to consider:
Indexing – how are you going to index these in your catalog? Options include: Creating a separate genre/form index Including them in the subject index Index only as keywords Split files when using LCSH as genre/form terms May have ‘Short stories’ as 650 and also as 655 Inconsistency in records Some catalogers are using LCGFT, some are not Variation in the records you find/export from OCLC Bibliographic file maintenance Very time-consuming! Authority vendor can help, but still lots to do manually OCLC Terminologies Service Can be integrated with Connexion or used as a standalone tool Provides faster, easier access to multiple thesauri Creates consistent metadata with searching, copy and paste functionality What will be useful and beneficial to YOUR users?

24 Thanks! Questions?

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