New LCSH!

This post is the opinion of Netanel Ganin and is in no way to be construed as an official communication from any section of any institution. 

As always — check out the full approved list, and be sure to read through the newest tentative list and to send feedback to LC! Your feedback matters, as PSD says:

“Each Tentative List includes an email address to which comments on the proposals may be submitted. PSD accepts comments from LC and SACO catalogers, other library and archive professionals, lawmakers, and members of the general public. The comment period lasts approximately one month, beginning with the publication of the Tentative List and continuing until the closing date indicated on the list.”


The following are newly approved headings which I proposed [or canceled LCSH in favor of NARs]

  • ASMR (Intersensory effect)
  • Identical twins
  • Sabbath
    • Added a UF of ‘Shabbat’
  • Coloring books [LCGFT term]

 

And now, onto the headings!


Accordion and computer music

Weird Al holding an Atari advertisement
Close enough

 

Accountants–Certification

Accountants on Parks and Rec playing Cones of Dunshire
The only certification I recognize

 

Appropriation (Architecture)

a crystalline architectural model
if you aren’t Kyrptonian, you shouldn’t live in this

 

Artificial ankle

Hiccup from the movie How to Train Your Dragon
I dunno, is that an ankle?

 

Chalk drawing, English

chalking which reads "chalk is talk"
Are they still doing the chalking ‘debate’ at Wesleyan?

 

Coffee cup lids

a whole bunch of disposable coffee cup lids
Louise has weapon

 

Cooking (Rice cakes)

9 fancy rice cakes with lots of toppings
WHAT?!

 

Cotton in art

cotton ball sheep arts and craft project
wait’ll someone proposes “Googly eyes in art”

 

Fantastic, The, in music

Rush
Fan-fucking-tastic

 

Fidget spinners

Fidget spinner with pokeballs on the end
oh man, Ash could’ve caught THREE TIMES as many Pokémon with this

 

Food in musicals

still from Oliver song, food glorious food
pease pudding and saveloys

 

Guitar controller (Musical instrument)

midi guitar
Remember nothing but PRACTICE will actually make you better
but also, i want one

 

Life in the UK Test

Doctor Who questions
I managed to get ahold of this actual page from the test

Postnuptial agreements

I hope all postnuptial agreements aren’t as irritating as this

 

Shades and shadows in architecture

mmmm art deco Batman

 

Steamship passengers

Behind the scenes still from Titanic
Rose won’t even make space for James Cameron

 

Wallpaper in art

tacky wallpaper with flowers
Forget *in* art, this IS art

 

Wine fraud

Wine label peeled off another wine label
And I would’ve gotten away with it too if it weren’t for you lousy sommeliers!
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Fantasy is Fantasy

This post is the opinion of Netanel Ganin and is in no way to be construed as an official communication from any section of any institution.


[bolded terms are a mention of a LC vocabulary term]

A brief overview of the Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials [LCGFT] follows:

From the introduction to the LCGFT manual:

In 2007 the Library of Congress began a project to develop genre/form terms, which describe what a resource is, rather than what it is about, as most subject headings do.

[emph mine]

The vocabulary is [along with the Demographic Group Terms and Medium of Performance Terms] part of LC’s foray into faceted vocabularies. Traditionally form has been handled through a $v in a 6XX field, but with this vocabulary [and some of its precursors such as the Moving Image Genre Form Guide or Guidelines on Subject Access to Individual Works of Fiction, Drama] catalogers can express ‘is-ness’ in a separate field from ‘about-ness’ [of-ness is a whole other kettle of fish].

I, Robot” may be about RobotsArtificial intelligence, etc. but it’s genre/form is Science fiction, Short stories, etc.

I think this is a great idea! We’ve long since known that people want to know the form of a material before selecting it, heck we stuck it right in the middle of the title field in $h with a general material designation. If a patron is looking for a resource by title, and there’s a play, motion picture, and novel all with the same title — that can be an important initial piece of information by which to limit their search.


So what’s the problem? I’m worried that we’re actually not as faceted as we could be. The problem is actually right in the name of the vocabulary. Genre/Form.

It’s two things: genres and forms!

Let me show you what I mean:

  • Science fiction
  • Science fiction comics
  • Science fiction films
  • Science fiction plays
  • Science fiction poetry
  • Science fiction radio programs
  • Science fiction television programs

That’s seven terms, each of which expresses a genre, followed by the form. [the unadorned “science fiction” is part of the literature hierarchy and is textual]

This is by no means an outlier either, there are eight permutations for “Political”, seven permutations for “Fantasy” and “Horror”, six for “Detective and mystery”, “Thrillers”, and “Westerns” [this is not exhaustive! Explore the vocab yourself and find more]

Remember that every single term in this or any LC vocabulary requires research on the part of the proposer and approval by the Policy and Standards Division at LC.

What if we encoded genre and form separately?

Rather than 47 terms, we could express all of those unique genre/forms with eight form terms and seven genre terms. That’d make for a leaner vocabulary and more precise machine processing.

  1. Leaner vocabularies without crossing of the streams are easier to maintain and introduce new terms [without having to worry that introducing a new genre means adding additional ones for every possible genre/form combo]
  2. Machine processing of a unique genre or unique form [rather than a combo] is easier to match to other vocabularies from form specific disciplines which wouldn’t include the form in their term.

Ultimately what I’m trying to get at is what the title says: fantasy is fantasy. Whether it’s a comic book, a tv show, or poetry — it’s all of the fantasy genre.

Let’s keep our forms and our genres separate.