Overall…’Classics’ was a tough one for me. While genre analysis is an inherently subjective task, and there’s room for disagreement in any category, ‘Classics’ are even more so because its not describing a film’s content (like Action films may contain high-octane explosions or car chases, or fight sequences), or mood (like a Thriller may evoke tension and danger to characters) — rather it’s a film’s reception. A film is a ‘Classic’ if a buncha people get together and say, “oh yeah that one’s a classic’.
I guess — I imagine a person on a desert island. You give her a complex compendium of all film genre tropes, styles, and identifiable characteristics. She could watch movies all day and then assign them genres based on these definitions. But unless she had other people around, she could never really say a film was a ‘Classic.’
But on the other hand — in actual practice, I found that the vast vast majorities of films placed into the ‘Classic’ genre by Netflix were really just “old exemplars”. Here’s how to be a Horror Classic — be a Horror film from a long time ago. So is the ‘Classic’ genre really just functioning as a limiting the films by year? Maybe…
Here are my subgenres for said category with asterisks for ones I’ll be discussing below
Classic Movie Musicals*
Classic Sci-Fi and Fantasy
Classic War Stories
Foreign Classic Comedies
Foreign Classic Dramas
Foreign Silent Films
Action Classics, Classic Movie Musicals, Family Classics, Horror Classics, Indie Classics, and Romance Classics
Added for hybrid consistency — I was really surprised by how many terms are in the Netflix hierarchy that should be cross listed, but weren’t. Well I wouldn’t be doing that. The only exception was the subgenre, ‘Sci-Fi Cult Classics’ because I determined that that was just their term for ‘cult films’ — there was no distinction being made between a ‘regular cult film’ and a ‘classic cult film’, so I reflected that in my mapping.
This was the only one requiring substantive thought from me. You’ll notice that while Netflix has ‘Epics’ as a subgenre under ‘Classics’, I have ‘Epics’ as a subgenre of ‘Drama’ and ‘Classic Epics’ as a subgenre of ‘Classics’. The problem was that not every epic is a classic epic! Their genrification has nowhere to place these non-classic epics. While I give you that epics were more popular back in the day, and Cecil B. DeMille isn’t making movies anymore — Lord of the Rings is definitely an epic, but I’ve not seen it on any Classics lists.
I know you knew this was coming. How could I post about the LCGFT manual and not post about the Library of Congress Demographic Group Terms manual? I actually heard Janis Young (from the Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division dontchaknow) give her talk on on the LCDGT and the demonym conundrum three times at ALA Midwinter. It got better every time I heard it.
Wait, the what manual?
Okay, so this hasn’t been around as long as LCGFT, and there’s a legitimate chance that you aren’t really sure what I’m even talking about here, so let me do a quick recap on what this vocab is even for. (For the official deets on the LCDGT’s purpose and creation, see the formal document)
Briefly, the LCDGT is a vocabulary consisting of people-characteristics. Where they’re from, what they do, their age, etc. There are 10 categories:
Educational level group
Medical, psychological, and disability group
Occupational/field of activity group
Sexual orientation group
Okay. That’s a lot of groups, and it is fraught. I know it’s fraught, and I know you know its fraught. Heck, I emailed LC on May 12th 2015 to express some concerns I had.
This is a primer though, so I’m not digging deep, check out the full biz for yourselves at Class Web, or if you don’t have access to that, here are some other options:
You can browse it at id.loc.gov — though last I checked it’s a bit janky. When you click on a given group…it doesn’t actually display every term in that group. Not sure why, but I’ve seen it posted on a list serv and I know LC knows about it.
You can download datasets through this Class Web download — unfortunately though, those aren’t in RDF, just .mrc files
You could always use the one I built here *plug plug* — because I had to transform MARCXML rather than RDF, I couldn’t just use the XSLT I’d built for my QueerLCSH project, but I was able to re-use chunks of that code. (and I included some RDFa data (SKOS) in the html, so that’s cool)
So what’s the point of the LCDGT? Why do we need yet another vocab?
LCSH has a lot of headings which secretly have contributor/creator data or intended audience data embedded in them. That’s not great. So much of what the library-data community has been working on in the last…..aeons is to UN-mix our data. Get your title info out of my non title field! Stop putting your expression biz into my manifestation baz!
So it makes sense that we’d want to keep our subject headings subjects and keep our people info somewhere else.
Fantasy fiction, Korean
Revolutionary poetry, Lithuanian
See how these LCSH are smashing together aspects of their subject and creator/audience characteristics? This is what we want to fix.
Another reason is that patrons often select their resources based on these characteristics and we want to make that easier for them. If a patron wants to find a resource on “Finance for Spanish speaking women who are doctors, written by French speaking accountants”, our fancy new ILS-of-the-future will help us help them find it. (I assume it’ll be very good at limiting by facets.
MARC 385 field is where we’re putting intended audience. Use no indicators, and no ending punctuation (unless term ends with punctuation). Toss a $2 lcdgt on it, and call it a day. It’s repeatable, and LC’s practice is to place each term used in a separate 385, though you can double up (or more!) if you want.
Remember, you can use these in bibliographic records as well as authority records for works.
245 00 $a Canadian Bates’ guide to health assessment for nurses.
385 ## $a Nurses $2 lcdgt
100 1# $a Blume, Judy.
245 10 $a It’s not the end of the world.
520 ## $a When her parents divorce, a sixth grader struggles to understand
that sometimes people are unable to live together.
385 ## $a Children of divorced parents $2 lcdgt
385 ## $a Preteens $2 lcdgt
385 ## $a Middle school students $2 lcdgt
385 ## $a Junior high school students $2 lcdgt
MARC 386 is where we’re putting creator/contributor information. Just as above in the 385, use no indicators, and no ending punctuation (unless term ends with punctuation). Toss a $2 lcdgt on it, and call it a day. It’s repeatable, and LC’s practice is to place each term used in a separate 386, though you can double up (or more!) if you want.
I want to highlight here how much the words ‘self-identifies’ appears in this memo (and throughout the manual. I think that’s a great decision on LCs part to make sure it’s clear that we are to listen to the people whose work we are describing. They are the final (and best) arbiters of their own lives.
Interestingly, unlike the increased use of $3 in the LCGFT manual to indicate different genres for different pieces, there is no use of $3 to distinguish which LCDGT terms are to apply to which creator/contributor (in the common case of multiple). We just code all the LCDGT terms for all the creators/contributors. I’m curious to see how that shakes out in practice.
Just as with the 385, you can use these in bibliographic records as well as authority records for works.
100 1# $a Russell, Rachel Renée.
245 10 $a Dork diaries : $b tales from a not-so-fabulous life / $c
Rachel Renée Russell.
386 ## $a Virginians $2 lcdgt
386 ## $a Lawyers $2 lcdgt
[“Rachel Renée Russell is an attorney. … Rachel lives in Chantilly, Virginia”–Author blurb.]
100 1# $a Sadler, Matthew.
245 $a Tips for young players / $c Matthew Sadler.
386 ## $a Chess players $2 lcdgt
386 ## $a Britons $2 lcdgt
[“Britain’s No. 3 ranked player Grandmaster Sadler answers key questions…”–Page 4 of cover.]
This isn’t the hill I want to die on, but this memo happened to alert me to the fact that Marines is an NT of Soldiers. The marines hate that. My understanding is that they see the U.S. Army members = Soldiers, not just any member of the U.S. Armed Forces. Like I said, it’s not my hill nor battle, but there it is.
An interesting example given is:
Children of gay men
not BT Children
[Although Children of gay men appears to refer to people under thirteen years of age, the term refers to any child of gay men, including those who have reached adulthood. The BT Children is therefore not appropriate.]
It’s a fine line and perhaps one that should have been avoided, because essentially this means that the vocabulary is using the same word ‘Children’ in two different ways. One of those ways is an absolute technical definition, “someone who is the child of someone else.” The other is dependent on the subject’s age. So for example, while for now any books authored by li’l Harper Harris-Burtka could be given 386s of
386 _ _Children $2 lcdgt
386 _ _Children of gay men $2 lcdgt
As soon as he hits adulthood, his future works can only be given the second term.
There’s a general rule about assigning multiple BTs
when the term is intrinsically part of two or more groups. The BTs may be from different categories.
BT Information scientists
BT Library employees
I quibble here again that I know many librarians who are not library employees, thus seeming to violate the ‘intrinsic’ aspect of the definition. To some, a librarian is anyone with an ML[I]S, to others its someone who works in a library in a professional capacity.
Another interesting thing I thought was that no terms are made for language groups. That is, German speakers and English speakers share no BT with some term like, ‘Germanic language speakers’.
8. Pejorative or outdated terminology. Generally avoid making UFs for pejorative or long disused terminology.
Words or phrases that were formerly pejorative but are not any longer may be provided as UFs. For example, research indicates that use of the word Cheeseheads to refer to people from Wisconsin was pejorative but is now considered acceptable, so it may be a UF to Wisconsinites.
This was the rule I cited way back when to request that LC remove a term from their UFs for the LCDGT. I also just like really like the idea of people doing intense research to figure out if ‘Cheeseheads’ was offensive or not.
Again, much weight is placed on the self-identification of the creators/contributors. I especially like the phrase:
Avoid assigning terms based on a photograph or picture of the creator, or based on the creator’s name, because they can be misleading regarding age, ethnicity, gender, etc.
That’s a great caveat to include. Another warning is under the edition section
Demographic terms assigned to earlier or later editions of the same resource may be reused with caution in the new cataloging record. Creators may self-identify with different demographic groups over the course of their lifetimes.
I appreciate that LC is aware of these realities and provides guidance in the memos.
One thing that I want to highlight is the ‘Overlapping terms’ instruction in both this and the previous memo. There are many terms which may seem to overlap with each other and thus adding both would be redundant. An example given is:
Here’s the thing though, terms from different categories are not overlapping terms, within the LCDGT. Remember the 11 groups above — African Americans is an ethnic/cultural group, whereas Americans is a national/regional group. Though outside LCDGT-land, all African Americans are obviously also American, within this sphere, it isn’t redundant because they’re part of different groups.
Each group has its own memo, most of which have special provisions in addition to the general rules given in the broader memos. (The Gender category, Medical, Psychological and Disability category, and Sexual Orientation categories have no additional provisions so I didn’t note anything about them)
Reciprocal instruction of the above instruction re: Age/Education.
If the resource is American use terms reflecting the American educational system, but if it isn’t then you’re welcome to propose (or use, if already accepted) new terms for the non-American educational system.
The memo includes special instructions on proposing such terms.
There’s a lot of instructions here on creating and assigning demonyms. It’s all well and good if we stay at or above the first-order administrative subdivision divisions. Unfortunately SOMEONE suggested to the Policy and Standards Division that they create demonyms for below that level.
There’s a note in the background section that members of religious orders (e.g. Bendectines) are in the Social category, not this one — why aren’t members of religious orders in the religion category?
Common sense note not to apply terms to creators when its redundant with the work being cataloged. I.e. don’t add “Authors” to a creator characteristic when cataloging a book.
No BTs may be constructed from an Occupation/Field of activity term to a Gender, Religion, or Sexual orientation category. This is a good rule, as it allows that any given occupation is not limited to a single gender, religion or sexual orientation — acknowledgement of the great variance in humanity is a good thing.
The social group is the catch-all for things that don’t really fit in the other groups.
No BT references are made to indicate age/gender/sexual orientation (good job, again)
In terms of “members of a specific organization” the only allowed terms are world wide scouting organizations and political parties. Otherwise they prefer you to construct a term based on the identity of that organization.
i.e. rather than adding a term, “American Humanist Association members”, add “Humanists”
That’s all! Go forth and start applying those terms. Write to LC, write to Janis, post stuff on your blog, yell at me on twitter. Do what yer gonna do.
One last thing….
Here’s something cool — unwashed randos, just like you and me (i.e. non SACO members) can submit LCDGT proposals through this survey monkey for a limited time! Before you click through though! Let me save you some time — they’re going to want you to have AT THE READY several memos from the manual. But for some reason, they didn’t actually link them. I am a kinder, gentler person and will provide those links for your LCDGT-creation convenience.
*Yes! It must be noted that Children’s X is actually one of the stated exceptions in the LCGFT manual (See memo J 270), but the fact that they had to make an exception for it, demonstrates that they’re aware it breaks the rules. I provided it here to see if you were paying attention.
Okay, I’m still recovering from ALA MidWinter 2016, and attentive followers will note that I actually tweeted out this thing’s existence prior to the conference!
So why wait until now to post, you ask? I WAS BUSY. Sorry.
Don’t fret y’all — I already e-mailed my comments to Janis Young at LC, because I know my feedback is hella valuable. But why should you miss out on my aforementioned valuable feedback? You shouldn’t. Here are some highlights/musings. Also do not take this to be an authoritative play-by-play, READ THE MANUAL.
[Note, I’m not including any of my feedback on typographical errors because that’s hardly substantive enough for the likes of you!
MARC Coding of LC Genre/Form Terms Assigned in Bibliographic and Authority Records J 105
The most interesting part of this memo (to me) (beside the Danny Joudrey shout out in example 1.a) is 1.b
A $3 subfield may be used to describe the part of the resource to which a term applies. Examples:
505 0# $a volume 1. A-H — volume 2. I-Z — volume 3. Biographies of important figures in education.
While $3 is in the MARC spec for the 650 field, there’s nothing in the Subject Heading Manual that explicitly states that you can assign headings to pieces of a resource like this. I find it interesting that they lay it out so clearly in the first memo for the LCGFT.
Assigning Genre/Form Terms J 110
This is the clutch memo to read, if you read NO others, read this one.
1. General rule. Assign genre/form terms only as they come readily to mind after a superficial review of the resource being cataloged.
That’s the first rule, and frankly it’s pretty good. Get it done.
“Say, this movie has a dragon on the cover!”
“Code it Fantasy films”
Note: The use of the phrase “significant proportion” is deliberate. Catalogers should take the intent of the resource into account and display good judgment when assigning terms from multiple levels of the hierarchy in this manner. (emph mine)
Lest you miss your faves in LCGFT — fret not! We still have both Rule of Three, and Rule of Four in place.
12. Subdivision of genre/form terms. Genre/form terms may not be subdivided, neither topically, geographically, chronologically, nor by form.
So that’s the last time I expect to see
655 _ 7 Science fiction films $z France. $2 lcgft
or some such in a master record! Ya hear me?
When to Establish a New Genre/Form Term J 120
2. New genres and forms that are not yet identifiable. When a resource being cataloged is of a genre or form that appears to be new but it is judged to be not yet definable and identifiable, assign available terms that most accurately describe the genre/form of the resource.
It happens to us all, sometimes you’re cataloging a resource and you go to analyze its genre/form and suddenly you’re all
IT IS UNIDENTIFIABLE
Okay, so don’t just make something up for that oddity of a resource.
Authority Research for Genre/Form Term Proposals J 160
Note: Crowdsourced web sites and social media such as Wikipedia, DBpedia, Twitter, etc., are not generally considered to be authoritative when proposing genre/form terms.
So make sure to do checking in one of these preferred sources compiled by ALCTS – CaMMS for proposing new LCGFT terms, rather than just adding
670 _ _ $a @OpOnions, January 19th, 2016: $b (he said he loves ‘Those kinda movies with a single location and small cast and usually a bad twist’)
Citation of Sources J 162
Maybe it’s just me, but it strikes me odd that they’re including in the LCGFT memos how to record citations from telephone calls and email correspondence. Since we’re not recording info on persons/families/corporate bodies, what kind of info do they expect we’re going to be finding out from these phone calls and emails that aren’t found in the MANY reference sources?
Form of Authorized Genre/Form Term J 180
Use natural language, this means:
not Films, Terrible
not Poetry, Inscrutable
Broader Term References J 186
“Orphan” terms – terms having no BT – are prohibited in LCGFT, except for the topmost term in each hierarchy (e.g., Instructional and educational works; Law materials; Motion pictures).
So make sure to have a BT in mind when proposing a term. If there’s really no decent BT, congrats you’ve discovered a heretofore unknown facet! Go propose the BT you wish existed while you’re at it!
I’m also excited to have specific memos dealing with subjects! That’s right, just like in the SHM, and that’s also right…I get excited by memos.
Right now those subject-specific memos are:
Legislation and Legislative Histories
Music (coming soon!)
Now having just checked, as of press-time the relevant memos in the SHM which previously covered these as genre/form terms still exist. But presumably some time after the LCGFT manual leaves ‘draft’ status, they’ll remove those redundant SHM memos.
Moving Images J 240
(not a joke) I really appreciate the clarifications provided for “films for the hearing impaired” both that it refers to intent, not just any subtitling, and the reason “video recordings” is also in the vocabulary.
That has come up very often in discussions both at work and on list-servs, so it’s not see it addressed. Same goes for the specification in the background section that “films” does not just refer to “motion picture film” but any moving-image on any medium.
So that’s that, eh? Pretty glad to have some formal documentation to point to!
Here are my subgenres for said category with asterisks for ones I’ll be discussing below
Family Sci-Fi and Fantasy
I waffled on this one. I didn’t like the idea of recording something which is so clearly descriptive metadata and not subject metadata. This is a production company! But I ended up conceding because of how much people consider ‘Disney’ its own thing.
Not present on my list, but present on Netflix’s
Coming of Age
Education & Guidance
Frankly our collection isn’t exactly intended for children so I didn’t feel a need to differentiate between the age groupings at that micro-level.
I was unable to satisfactorily separate this category from “Family Animation” and so decided to eliminate it entirely as they almost entirely overlapped.
“I’ve been accepted to the Simmons Library Science program”
I shared this news with my mentalization group in the Spring of 2013. I wasn’t sure it was a good thing. What if I weren’t cut out for it? What if I couldn’t hack it — what if I didn’t like it?
That was the real fear. Ever since leaving Berklee in 2009 I had fixated on library science as my future career path. My experience was limited to a student job at the Berklee Library and a circulation assistant position at Emerson College. I’d never done “real librarianship” nor cataloging, which was my intended focus. If it turned out that I didn’t enjoy it, if it turned out that the day-to-day tasks brought me no satisfaction or joy, then what? Start over, again? I didn’t know if I could do that.
2002 – I began college at Wesleyan University. I burned out. Badly.
2003-2005 – Wandered the (highly privileged) corners of the Massachusetts mental health care system from the Austen Riggs center to McLean Hospital. Many weeks in locked units over different periods.
2005-2009 – Attended Berklee College of Music part time, perhaps music was the answer to my problems. Was only hospitalized on locked units twice.
2009-2012 – Attended UMass Boston and actually graduated with a degree. Was only hospitalized once.
Those years brought different therapies, and different drugs. Somewhere between depakote, wellbutrin, risperdal, remeron, topamax, celexa, ativan, effexor, seroquel, and cymbalta, I met up with borderline personality disorder. That glove fit and follows me (though less symptomatically) to this day.
So I sat in 2013 contemplating my future. If I’d been rejected from Simmons I wouldn’t have to face the fears I had of losing out on another ‘path’. The prospect of embracing this new future and potentially finding it wanting (or it finding me so) was terrifying. I couldn’t start over yet again.
But I went. I went to orientation, and then to classes. I made it through the Simmons program with zero hospitalizations. A record I’ve maintained since 2012. I’m now employed, and enjoying what I do.
Dr. Manhattan is right. Nothing ever ends. It’s hard all the time. Not every day, not every week, but it’s always there — and it probably always will be. I’m getting by, and I’ll try to keep doing that.
Hello y’all! I don’t want to foolishly head down a road of poor-thoughtoutness. I’ve done that. It can teach you a lot, and failure is important, but I’d much rather know were I’m headed and why I’m doing what I’m doing this time. This is what it looked like last time.
With that in mind, I’m sharing what I’m working on and requesting feedback before I keep on keeping on.
Project: Make a database/interface for my comic book collection akin to
So here’s my big question (and I openly submit that as a total linked data newbie, it’s an ignorant one…)
I can put data into RDF, I can then transform it into HTML for web viewing, but then it’s not in linked triples anymore. My fundamental question is, how do you do both? Does it fulfill linked data requirements if I just have a human readable interface of HTML/CSS with RDFa attributes inside those HTML elements?
I’m genuinely asking here — This is a project intended to better help me understand how to create linked data, and then use it on the actual web. Does what I’ve laid out sound like a correct way of doing that?
Here are my subgenres for said category with asterisks for ones to be discussed (i.e. the ones which are absent or different from Netflix’s)
Animation for Grown-ups
Due to the Rule of 5, all of the Anime ____ subgenres were consolidated into one. There just wasn’t enough Anime in the Emerson collection to justify subdividing them.
Also note that Netflix has “Anime Series”as a subgenre under ‘Anime & Animation’…but there’s a separate genre for ‘TV Shows’ in which it doesn’t appear! What’s going on there? (there are other seemingly TV genres which only appear under a film genre and not the TV one. Netflix, you a mess.
Added for hybrid consistency
I went back and forth several times on trying to decide on distinguishing between “family friendly” animation and…less family friendly. I ended up keeping that distinction, because every animation thing I read seemed to differentiate them, though they disagreed on terminology.
But who knows the Rule of 5? No one, because I made it up. My rule is one higher than the most rule LC has. So does that makes me one higher? I don’t know, I’m just a simple cataloger doing his best. You decide.
As I’ve said a million times, (and will say it more…) Emflix was a lot smaller than Netflix. That is, whereas the Emerson Library had some 3000+ DVDs, Netflix has some 93,000+ (according to them). One of the things that means is that while it can populate its numerous genres and categories, Emflix struggled to catch up. I started noticing subsubgenres which had a single item and I thought it would be disappointing to users to click through to a subsubgenre only to discover that their options were nearly non-existent.
So I instigated the Rule of 5. Unless a subsubgenre had 5 or more films in that category, it wouldn’t be used. This first meant running a quick little count on number of films per subsubgenre.
I commented out all the subsubgenres which had fewer than 5 films so they wouldn’t be taken into account during the transformation into the interface.
Trying to think ahead for once, I realized that as movies were added to the Emerson collection, some of these commented out subsubgenres may make it up to the required 5.
Thus, I continued to record the subsubgenres which i’d commented out when I encountered them in new films while also implementing a count on the commented out subsubgenres. When they hit 5, ta-da! Un-commented and returned to production.
(The Rule of 5 also applies to non english languages, but we’ll get to those later…)