H 1610 Fictitious Characters


BACKGROUND: Fictitious characters may have names that resemble personal names or they may have names which are descriptive phrases or nicknames. This instruction sheet provides guidelines for establishing and assigning subject headings for fictitious characters. For more specific instructions on comic and cartoon characters see H 1430; for legendary characters see H 1795.


Under AACR2, fictitious characters could not be established in the name authority file because they could not be descriptive access points. RDA permits fictitious characters to be used as descriptive access points if the character is credited with the creation of a work. They may therefore be established in the name authority file.


A fictitious character heading needed for use as a subject should be established in LCSH and tagged 150. A fictitious character heading needed for use as an RDA descriptive access point should be established in the name authority file and tagged 100. The descriptive heading will include a note in a 667 field that indicates that it may not be assigned as a subject heading and field 008/15 (Heading use-subject added entry) will have a value of b: Not appropriate.




Subject heading:

150 ## $a Fletcher, Jessica (Fictitious character)


Name heading:

100 1# $a Fletcher, Jessica

667 ## $a SUBJECT USAGE: This heading is not valid for use as a subject; use a fictitious character heading from LCSH.



1. Form of heading.

a. Characters with surnames. Establish in inverted form all characters whose names include a surname. Add as a final element of the name any titles of address associated with the name, if appropriate. Add the parenthetical qualifier (Fictitious character).


150 ## $a Shore, Jemima (Fictitious character)

150 ## $a Wimsey, Peter, Lord (Fictitious character)

150 ## $a Collins, Mr. (Fictitious character)

150 ## $a Dolittle, Doctor (Fictitious character)


b. Characters with nicknames. Establish a character known by nickname directly under that name. Add the parenthetical qualifier (Fictitious character). Examples:

150 ## $a Operator 5 (Fictitious character)

150 ## $a Little Orphan Annie (Fictitious character)


c. Characters with titles or terms of address. Include or exclude terms such as Inspector, Captain, Sergeant, etc., based on usage by the literary author in the works in which the character appears.


d. Characters with the same names or non-distinct names. Differentiate characters having the same names by adding the creator's name to the qualifier following a space, a colon, and another space.


150 ## $a Yum Yum (Fictitious character : Braun)

150 ## $a Yum Yum (Fictitious character : Gilbert)


If a character's name consists only of a forename with no other distinguishing term, add the creator's name to the qualifier in order to construct a unique heading.


150 ## $a Alfie (Fictitious character : Hughes)

150 ## $a Jim (Fictitious character : Cunliffe)


e. Characters with names that differ according to the language of the work. Establish characters that have different names in English and foreign-language edtitions, or that have different names in various literary traditions, under the name used in English, regardess of the original language of the works.


150 ## $a Thomas the Tank Engine (Fictitious character)

450 ## $a Tomos y Tanc (Fictitious character)


150 ## $a Othello (Fictitious character)

450 ## $a Otello (Fictitious character)



2. References.

a. UF references. Add 450 fields with other names by which the character may be known, including uninverted forms for characters entered under surname.


150 ## $a Shadow (Fictitious character)

450 ## $a Cranston, Lamont (Fictitious character)

450 ## $a Lamont Cranston (Fictitious character)

450 ## $a The Shadow (Fictitious character)


150 ## $a Marple, Jane (Fictitious character)

450 ## $a Jane Marple (Fictitious character)

450 ## $a Marple, Miss (Fictitious character)

450 ## $a Miss Marple (Fictitious character)


150 ## $a March, Jo (Fictitious character)

450 ## $a Bhaer, Jo (Fictitious character)

450 ## $a Jo Bhaer (Fictitious character)

450 ## $a Jo March (Fictitious character)


b. Broader terms. Do not add a broader term for headings for fictitious characters.



3. Geographic subdivision. Code headings for fictitious characters as Not Subdivided Geographically.



4. Named groups of characters. Establish named groups of fictitious characters according to the same pattern as individual characters. Use as a qualifier the term (Fictitious characters).


150 ## $a Hardy Boys (Fictitious characters)

150 ## $a Sartoris family (Fictitious characters)


Add 450 fields with references from variant names by which the group is known.


150 ## $a Cartwright family (Fictitious characters)

450 ## $a Cartwright clan (Fictitious characters)

450 ## $a Cartwrights (Fictitious characters)


Do not establish individual characters, including married couples, who appear together in a fictional work, as a group. Instead, establish them as separate characters.


150 ## $a North, Jerry (Fictitious character)

150 ## $a North, Pam (Fictitious character)

[not 150 ## $a North, Mr. and Mrs. (Fictitious characters)]



5. Assignment of headings.

a. Literary texts. Assign a subject heading for a fictitious character to collections of literary texts featuring the character, using the subdivisions –Fiction, –Drama, –Poetry, or –Literary collections as appropriate.


For individual plays or poems assign a subject heading only if the character has been borrowed by the author from another author or source and used in the creation of a new work. Do not assign a subject heading for works that are simply adaptations of another author's work.


LC practice:

Do not assign a subject heading for a fictitious character to an individual work of fiction, except for records that are cataloged according to special provisions for increased access to fiction (see H 1790).


b. Works about the character. Assign a subject heading without further subdivision to general works on a fictitious character.

For works limited to specific media, use the subject heading with an appropriate qualifying phrase such as ... in art, ... in literature, ... in mass media.


Exception: Do not use ... in literature for literary characters or ... in art for characters that originated in art. Use the phrases ... in literature and ... in art only for characters borrowed from other media, for example, Snoopy (Fictitious character) in literature; Othello (Fictitious character) in art.


For works on the use of a fictitious character by an individual author, assign also a heading of the type [name of author]–Characters–[name of character] (cf. H 1110).



Copyright Library of Congress except in the United States.