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Adam Schiff's picture

Report from Working Group on LCGFT Literature Terms

ALCTS CaMMS Subject Analysis Committee
Subcommittee on Genre/Form Implementation

Report from Working Group on LCGFT Literature Terms


The Literature Project Working Group (LPWG) met at Annual 2012 to get a basic understanding of the goals and methodology of the project. Adam Schiff set up a listsev for the group to facilitate discussions and dissemination of information. The Library of Congress (LC) identified a seed list of terms from the established Subject Headings (LCSH) that might be genre terms needed in LCGFT. We had Marcive, Inc. pull the 1xx, 4xx, 5xx, and scope notes into an Excel file so we could identify and sort these terms by appropriateness for the Literature Project and sub-categories under literature. The Excel file was posted on Google Docs to allow group review. All terms which were not within the scope of the Literature project were moved to a new worksheet labeled Other, for reference and possible future action. The remaining literature terms were divided by categories and different LPWG members compiled a draft hierarchy for that section. Each literature term was posted on the ALA Connect LPWG community for comments. Additional terms are being incorporated when identified during the editing process. Word documents are being drafted with an alphabetical listing of the identified terms, scope note, broader, narrower, related terms and source notes. These documents are still under review and are posted on Google Docs to allow cooperative editing.


The group is finalizing an initial draft to submit to LC, hopefully by late spring 2013.

Over 514 terms were identified for the initial draft hierarchy. Approximate numbers are: Comics (43); Diaries, Essays, Letters (7); Drama (123); Folklore (15); Literary recreations (8); Poetry (160); Prose (141); Wit and humor (17)

Several terms are on the General Terms list, from form subdivision authority records, so these will be handled by that group but will also be noted, as such, on the Literature list.


The scope of the project, as defined by LC, is to just supply "belles-lettres" terms. Terms which are not truly "genre" or "form" or for nonfiction are not to be included. However, the LPWG is reviewing this directive and hope to be able to persuade LC to broaden the scope a little to include some commonly used terms which are more closely related to literature than another discipline. Examples of excluded terms are: Non-royalty plays; True crime stories; Superhero comics. There is also a need to work closely with other projects when terms are used in multiple disciplines. Examples of these terms are: Rhapsody; Lauds; Azharot. A guideline should be established to use the unqualified term across disciplines or to established discipline specific terms.

Respectfully submitted by:
Mary L. Mastraccio
SAC-GFIS-Literature Project Working Group, Chair