H 1780  Literature:  Drama



1.  General rule.  For collections of plays, assign as many headings as necessary to bring out both the form and the topic(s).  For single plays, assign headings as required to bring out topic(s), but assign form headings only as noted in sec. 4, below.


2.  Designating the form of collections.

a.  General rule.  Bring out the form of a collection by assigning headings of the type American drama–20th century; One-act plays; Television plays; etc., as in the first heading in the following example:

Title:   Eight plays for hand puppets about George Washington.

650 #0 $a Puppet plays, American.

600 10 $a Washington, George, $d 1732-1799 $v Drama.


Certain phrase headings combine both form and topical aspects into one heading, for example, Detective and mystery plays; Christmas plays; Ghost plays; etc.  These headings are used to designate both the form and the topic of collections, and no additional heading is usually required.


Do not use a phrase heading of this type if a more specific [topic]–Drama heading can be formulated to designate the topic of the collection.  Instead, assign the more specific heading in conjunction with a broader, nontopical, form heading.  For example, assign the following headings to a collection of American plays about the Christian Trinity:

650 #0 $a American drama.

650 #0 $a Trinity $v Drama.

[not  650 #0 $a Christian drama, American.]

[not  650 #0 $a Christian drama, American. 650 #0 $a Trinity $v Drama.]


b.  Collections of plays by one author.  As a general rule, assign form headings (a) if the form heading includes a topical aspect, for example, Detective and mystery plays, American, or (b) if the plays are of a highly specific form and the form is an essential point of the collection, for example, Carnival plays; College and school drama, Japanese; etc.


Do not assign nonspecific form headings or standard dramatic genre headings to collections of plays by one author, for example, English drama, English drama (Comedy); Comedy; Farces; Melodrama; One-act plays; Tragedy; Tragicomedy.


c.  Collections of children's plays.  Assign the heading Children's plays or Children's plays, American, [English, etc.] to collections of children's plays, whether by one author or several authors, in addition to the other required form and topical headings.



3.  Designating topics of collections by one or several authors.  Bring out identifiable topics, using one of the following types of headings:

a.  [topic]–Drama or [topic]–Juvenile drama.  Use headings of this type as the standard means of designating topics in drama, for example, Alcoholism–Drama; Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865–Drama; Holmes, Sherlock (Fictitious character)–Drama; Brontë family–Drama.


b.  Phrase headings with topical aspects.  If a phrase heading has both form and topical aspects, assign only the one heading to designate both form and topic, as described in sec. 2.a, above.  Historical drama and Political plays are examples of such headings.



4.  Individual plays.  Bring out the topic of an individual play by assigning headings of the type described in sec. 3, above.  Assign a form heading only if it includes a topical aspect, or if the play is of a highly specific form, for example, Detective and mystery plays, American; Carnival plays; etc.


Assign the heading Children's plays, American, [English, etc.] to individual children's plays in addition to the required topical heading(s).



5.  Limitations on assigning headings.  Assign topical and form headings, especially to single plays or to collections by one author, only as they come readily to mind after a superficial review of the work being cataloged.


Do not attempt to assign a form heading to a collection of plays by one author if the form is not stated on the title page or in another prominent location.


Do not attempt to discern topics which have not been made explicit by the playwright or publisher, or which could be interpreted as representing value judgments.


Do not assign topical headings to single plays which deal with vague and general topics, such as fate, mankind, belief, malaise, etc.



6.  History and criticism.

a.  General rule.  For works about particular themes in drama, assign as many headings as necessary to bring out the form (with subdivision –History and criticism) and the topics (normally using headings of the type [topic] in literature). 


650 #0 $a American drama $y 20th century $x History and criticism.

650 #0 $a Mental illness in literature.


If a heading has both form and topical aspects, assign only the single heading with the subdivision –History and criticism, for example, Religious drama–History and criticism.


b.  Plays about individual persons or families.  For criticism of drama about particular individuals or families, including dynasties and royal houses, assign the name of the person or family with the free-floating subdivision –In literature, for example, Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791–In literature; Roosevelt family–In literature.


c.  Plays about individual corporate bodies, places, and sacred works.  For criticism of plays about particular corporate bodies, places, or sacred works, assign the name of the entity with the free-floating subdivision –In literature, for example, United States.  Congress–In literature; Provence (France)–In literature; Bible–In literature.


d.  Plays about wars and similar events.  For works about the drama of a specific war, revolution, uprising, etc., assign [name of event]–Literature and the war, [revolution, uprising, etc.] as a topical heading (cf. H 1200).


e.  Single plays.  For works about a single play with a special theme, assign a heading for the play as well as a heading for the theme. 


600 10 $a Heller, Joseph. $t Catch-22, a dramatization.

650 #0 $a World War, 1939-1945 $x Literature and the war.



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