[Message being cross-posted; please excuse the duplication, and also feel free to forward to other interested parties.]



In the spring of 2007 the Library of Congress embarked upon an experiment to create genre/form terms in the area of moving images (films, television programs, and video recordings), along with policies for assigning them. Over five hundred genre/form terms for moving image works have been approved, and it has been almost three years since LC implemented them.


With any experiment, policies that look reasonable in theory may be less so in application. This is perhaps particularly true in the case of the moving image genre/form terms, since the Policy and Standards Division’s plans for the genre/form thesaurus, now entitled Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT) have evolved and matured since the moving image project began.


The recent separation of the genre/form thesaurus from LCSH provides an opportunity to reexamine the genre/form terms approved during the moving image experiment in order to determine whether they fit into the overall thesaurus, given the trajectory of development.


One ongoing issue has been what may be loosely referred to as “character- and franchise-based terms.” These are authorized terms that include either a character name or the title of a film or television program (e.g., Die Hard films; Dracula television programs; Scooby-Doo television programs; Star Wars films). PSD proposes cancelling all of these terms from the genre/form thesaurus, and has posted a discussion paper explaining the rationale on the Library of Congress’ genre/form web page,  The direct URL for the paper is requests input from interested parties before making a final decision.


Comments will be accepted through September 30, 2011.  They may be sent to Janis L. Young, LC’s genre/form coordinator, at [log in to unmask].




Janis L. Young

Policy and Standards Division

Library of Congress