This world wasn’t really designed for the very short or the very tall. Countertops, seat-to-floor ratios, clothing, beds, and a slew of other everyday encounters can be radically challenging for outliers on the height spectrum. I can’t really do anything about that beyond raising awareness, not my area.
But librarianship is my area, so let’s talk some LCSH.
I want to draw your attention to two words which (thanks, English) can be used to mean “tall/short person” or “mythological/legendary character”
Giants and Dwarfs
Both (in people) are more than simply observing someone’s height and noting that it’s outside the mean. Rather, they refer to specific conditions which have accompanying traits that a person may want to be aware of in terms of their body’s functions.
Though the word ‘giant’ isn’t used in common language for people (I browsed a bunch of the Tall Clubs International, affiliated sites and none of them use the term ‘giant’), ‘dwarf’ is. (See Dwarf Athletic Association of America
or per Peter Dinklage
I loved The Lord of the Rings as books and movies but, like elves, dwarves are presented as another creature. They are not humans in those stories. We don’t have elves walking around, but we do have dwarves like myself. We are real.
Unfortunately LCSH does not make this distinction:
Dwarfs clearly refers to people as it’s an NT of Short people, but it’s classification links (from the 053 field) are
GN69.3.-5 Anthropology—Physical anthropology. Somatology—Human variation—Physical form and dimensions—Body dimensions and proportions—Special variations—Dwarfs. Midgets
GR555 Folklore—By subject—Dwarfs
The former refers to people (the fact that former headings are kept in the caption is something else entirely and one which LC seems unlikely to change).
The latter refers to magical fantasy creatures from Germanic mythology.
Giants is an NT of Abnormalities, Human (but not Tall people) but its NTs include Adamastor (Legendary character) and Laestrygonians (Greek mythology). Following the logical progression — the implication is either that Adamastor and the Laestrygonians are abnormal humans (they are not) or that LCSH is co-mingling the two usages of the term.
Further confusing the issue is that Amycus (Greek mythology) and Cyclopes (Greek mythology) are NTs of Giants–Mythology
Giants has a single classification link:
GN69 Anthropology—Physical anthropology. Somatology—Human variation—Physical form and dimensions—Body dimensions and proportions—Special variations—Giants
and thankfully not
GR560 Folklore—By subject—Ogres. Giants
So while Giants is less confused in LCSH than ‘Dwarfs’ is but both could benefit from being separated into two groups e.g.
Dwarfs (people) and Dwarfs (folklore)
Gigantism (condition) and Giants (folklore)
Now turning to live usage:
- Der Riese von Lengau : Lebensgeschichte vom 2,58 Meter grossen Franz
- Nova Scotia’s two remarkable giants / by Phyllis R. Blakeley ; with a foreword by George Swan
- The Cape Breton giant : a truthful memoir / by James D. Gillis, author ; with a memoir of James D. Gillis by Thomas H. Raddall.
- Our Miss Ella / by Bette J. Wiley.
are all books about people which have the subject heading Giants
- Giants and ogres / by John Hamilton.
- Fee, fi, fo, fum; or, The giants in England. by H. J. Massingham.
- Sowers of thunder : giants in myth and history / Anthony Roberts.
are all books about folkloric creatures which have the subject heading Giants
- Dwarfs in ancient Egypt and Greece / Véronique Dasen.
- In the company of the courtesan : a novel / Sarah Dunant.
- Giants : the dwarfs of Auschwitz : the extraordinary story of the Lilliput Troupe / Yehuda Koren & Eilat Negev ; with a foreword by Warwick Davis.
- The lives of dwarfs : their journey from public curiosity toward social liberation / Betty M. Adelson ; foreword by Julie Rotta.
are all books about people which have the subject heading Dwarfs
- Watchers in the woods / Stephen Krensky.
- Dwarfs / by Tim Appenzeller and the editors of Time-Life Books.
- The fate of the dwarves / Markus Heitz ; translated by Sheelagh Alabaster.
- Queene of light : a Lightworld,Darkworld novel / Jennifer Armintrout.
are all books about folkloric creatures which have the subject heading Dwarfs
As the SHM Memo H 187 states: “Establish a subject heading for a topic that represents a discrete, identifiable concept”
They have failed in this regard and conflated personhood with folklore. Let’s rectify that.