BACKGROUND: This instruction sheet provides a general overview of the assignment of subject headings in the field of literature. Specific instructions are given in other instruction sheets, especially those listed in sec. 1, below.
1. Most commonly used instruction sheets. The following instruction sheets are of particular interest for the assignment of subject headings in the field of literature.
Lists of free-floating subdivisions:
Assignment of subject headings:
2. Most commonly expressed concepts in subject headings for literature. The following concepts are frequently encountered in the cataloging of literary materials. These concepts are expressed in the assignment of subject headings according to the type of work being cataloged as explained in sec. 3, below.
American, Mexican, Swiss
3. Most commonly found types of works in literature cataloging. The following are the six basic categories of works in the field of literature.
a. Collections of literary texts by several authors.
a collection of 20th century American
an anthology of German literature
selections from classical Spanish drama
English translations of Portuguese love poems
Any of the concepts in sec. 2, above, may be expressed for this category of work.
Subdivisions are normally used to express time period, translations, and locality. Form or genre is normally combined with nationality or language in a phrase heading, for example, American poetry. Themes or topics may be expressed as [topic]-[subdivision], for example, Cats–Literary collections; or as a phrase, for example, Detective and mystery stories. Groups of authors may be expressed as subdivisions or as phrases, e.g. American fiction–Women authors; Soldiers' writings, Canadian.
b. Collections of literary texts by one author.
a collection of poems of one author
complete work of a novelist
selected short stories of one author
Theme or topic is expressed for this category of work; genre may be shown if highly specific and emphasized in the work. Nationality or language is expressed only if combined with genre or theme in a phrase heading, for example, Sonnets, American; Love stories, French. Translations are shown by subdivision under the name of the author, for example, Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809- 1849–Translations into French. Other concepts from sec. 2, above, are not expressed.
c. Single literary text.
a single novel
a single play
Individual poems or plays are assigned headings for theme and for highly specific forms, for example, Christmas–Poetry; Monodramas. Individual works of fiction are assigned headings for persons, historical events or periods, and animals, for example, Washington, George, 1732-1799–Fiction; Thirty Years' War, 1618-1648–Fiction; Horses–Fiction. Other concepts from sec. 2, above, are not normally expressed.
d. Discussion of several authors.
a history of Argentine literature
a bibliography of French science fiction
essays on 20th century Jewish novelists
treatise on the use of satire in American novels
biographical directory of Canadian authors
Any of the concepts from sec. 2, above, may be expressed. Subdivisions must be added to literary form headings to show that the work is about literature, not a collection of texts; the most common of these subdivisions is –History and criticism. Themes or topics are usually expressed as [topic] in literature, [topic]–In literature, or [topic] and literature.
e. Discussion of one author.
autobiography of a single author
stage history of Shakespeare's plays
a treatise on Victor Hugo's poetry
The major subject heading assigned is the name of the author discussed, with subdivisions as appropriate from the pattern lists of free-floating subdivisions. Theme or topic may also be expressed. Other concepts from sec. 2, above, are not normally expressed. Biographical works follow provisions for biography given in H 1330.
f. Discussion of single literary text.
essays on Milton's Paradise lost
treatise on Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the wind
The major subject heading assigned is the uniform title for the work, usually as an author-title subject entry. Subdivisions may be assigned from the appropriate pattern list. Theme or topic may also be expressed. Form headings or subdivisions that were assigned to the literary text are converted to the appropriate topical equivalent. Other concepts from sec. 2, above, are not normally expressed.
Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings
Copyright (c)2004 by the Library of Congress except within the USA.