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Tricky indeed.

Once up in a time, in a galaxy far, far away, there were two fields in MARC
for such data:  655 and 755.

But then someone asked the fatal question we now once again have before
us.  Which is what and what is which?   Form?  Genre?  Everyone scratched
their heads and many tried to deconstruct the differences among the various
concepts discussed in this thread and came up with two, three, or even four
or more buckets.

Questions were asked.

How were MARC systems indexing and displaying this data?  Most combined 655
and 755 or lumped them with all the 6xx fields.  Only RLIN indexed them
separately and then I seem to recall only in the AMC file, not BKS or VIM
or others.

This lead to discussions among early archival users of MARC as whether or
not to enter a given term in both 655 and 755.

Who was using both fields?  OCLC and RLG reported little use in their
databases of 655 outside the archival community and virtually no use of 755.

So the USMARC Advisory Committee conflated the  two fields into one and
that passed on to EAD as <genreform>.

It's all in the minutes.

I suspect still (ten to fifteen years later) that there are really three or
four different concepts  potentially to be parsed out here.

To do so might be intriguing as an exercise in scholasticism but to what
practical value?   The consistency of using  terms from controlled
vocabularies describing such characteristics of records might well be
useful to the researcher but who really cares what bucket we store them
in?

Someone will no doubt take me to task for my apostasy but, having provided
this tidbit of historical context, I shall walk away now and leave further
debate to others.

Michael Fox
On Apr 26, 2017 11:32 AM, "Rees, John (NIH/NLM) [E]" <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> For MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), MARC 655 _2 maps to Mesh's
> Publication Types controlled vocab, which are physical
> formats/manifestations.
>
> For example https://meshb.nlm.nih.gov/record/ui?ui=D055824 (Formularies
> vs Formularies as Topic)
>
> John
>
>
> John P. Rees
> Archivist and Digital Resources Manager
> History of Medicine Division
> National Library of Medicine
> 301-827-4510
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jane Stevenson [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 10:28 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Genre and Form
>
> Hi all,
>
> Possibly a can of worms I've opened up here, but its really useful to get
> some feedback to help me with advising archivists what to put into this
> field. I usually have to stand at the front and sound like I know what I'm
> talking about when I advise on cataloguing.....
>
> > I think Jane's statement is about the conflation of genre and format.
>
>
> Yes, I wanted to understand a bit more about why that is the case.
>
> > My understanding has always been that the <genreform> element in EAD was
> intended to correspond to the 655 field in MARC. If you read the 655 field
> definition at http://loc.gov/marc/bibliographic/bd655.html, you'll notice
> the language describing <genreform> is very similar.
>
> I should have thought of looking at MARC - I don't ever use it myself - I
> think there is more importance placed on the cross walk from MARC to EAD in
> the US than in the UK? Here archivists rarely refer to MARC. So, that's
> useful as something I can reference.
>
>
> > Controlled vocabularies combine genre and form because there is no
> clear-cut way to differentiate these and there is very little point in
> arguing about which list a term should be in.
>
>
> I think that may be another argument, along with basing this on MARC. But
> it does feel a little wrong to combine 'diaries, romance, account books,
> comedy' (OK, I've gone for an extreme example).
>
> > A memoir can be published in a diary, or a monograph, online as a blog,
> or as a docudrama on television. Disambiguating between genre and format
> (if by format we mean physical or electronic medium) is difficult, but is
> done routinely within the museum realm.
>
>
> Yes - I guess my feeling is that at times it seems important to
> distinguish them...but then I come back to the fact that it can all get a
> bit tricky....
>
> > diaries are only form/physical characterics?! So, my *memoir* can be a
> genre, but my *diary* can only be a form? Surely you want memoirs and
> diaries to be on the same list of options.
>
>
> Ha. Yes. I thought of diaries as one example where I get confused.  Is a
> diary a form? Surely the form would be how it was physically represented?
> Shouldn't a diary be a 'style', which is really a genre?
>
> I'm not sure I'm closer to clarity, but its helpful to have a discussion!
>
> cheers,
> Jane
>
>
>
>
> > On 26 Apr 2017, at 15:10, Bowers, Kate A. <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> > Wait--so you are definitely telling me "diaries" are not a genre of
> writing?  In AAT diaries are in the physical object facet.  Now, about that
> diary I kept on my PDA and now I keep in the cloud...
> >
> > Kate Bowers
> > Collections Services Archivist for Metadata, Systems, and Standards
> > Harvard University Archives [log in to unmask]
> > 617.496.2713
> > voice: (617) 998-5238
> > fax: (617) 495-8011
> > web: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.eresource:archives
> > Twitter: @k8_bowers
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > From: Encoded Archival Description List <[log in to unmask]> on
> > behalf of Ethan Gruber <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 10:01 AM
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: [EAD] Genre and Form
> >
> > A memoir can be published in a diary, or a monograph, online as a blog,
> or as a docudrama on television. Disambiguating between genre and format
> (if by format we mean physical or electronic medium) is difficult, but is
> done routinely within the museum realm. Fortunately, the Getty AAT has
> organized their vocabulary in a way that allows us to disambiguate genre
> and format.
> >
> > Ruth, EAD 2002 doesn't have @localtype, but it does have @type, which is
> functionally equivalent.
> >
> > Ethan
> >
> > On Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 9:52 AM, Bowers, Kate A. <
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Controlled vocabularies combine genre and form because there is no
> clear-cut way to differentiate these and there is very little point in
> arguing about which list a term should be in.
> >
> > Quoting from the MARC format 655, which covers genre, form, and
> > physical characteristics "Examples of genre terms for textual materials
> are: biographies, catechisms, essays, hymns, or reviews. Examples of form
> and physical characteristic terms are: daybooks, diaries, directories,
> journals, memoranda, questionnaires, syllabi, or time sheets. "
> >
> > Well, that's nice--diaries are only form/physical characterics?! So, my
> *memoir* can be a genre, but my *diary* can only be a form? Surely you want
> memoirs and diaries to be on the same list of options.
> >
> >
> > Kate Bowers
> > Collections Services Archivist for Metadata, Systems, and Standards
> > Harvard University Archives [log in to unmask]
> > 617.496.2713
> > voice: (617) 998-5238
> > fax: (617) 495-8011
> > web: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.eresource:archives
> > Twitter: @k8_bowers
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > From: Encoded Archival Description List <[log in to unmask]> on
> > behalf of Jane Stevenson <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 4:29 AM
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: [EAD] Genre and Form
> >
> > HI there,
> >
> > i've never been quite clear about the <genreform> tag.
> >
> >
> > The EAD2002 and EAD3 guide says:
> >
> > "A term that identifies the types of material being described, by naming
> the style or technique of their intellectual content (genre); order of
> information or object function (form); and physical characteristics.
> Examples include: account books, architectural drawings, portraits, short
> stories, sound recordings, and videotapes."
> >
> > But genre is a style, like 'gothic' architecture or 'romantic'
> literature or 'garage' music. So, you might say the 'form' is a short story
> or a videotape, but the genre is 'comedy' or 'documentary'.
> >
> > It just doesn't seem like these are the same thing and I've never
> understood why they are put together.
> >
> > I just wondered if anyone has any thoughts on this. I've just never been
> able to convey it to our contributors in a way that makes sense to me
> because describing something as a 'short story' seems very different from
> describing its style as, say, 'romantic' in terms of genre. I've never
> understood why we put these together.
> >
> > cheers,
> > Jane
> >
> > Jane Stevenson
> > Archives Hub Service Manager
> > [log in to unmask]
> >
> > Jisc is a registered charity (number 1149740) and a company limited by
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> GB 197 0632 86. Jisc's registered office is: One Castlepark, Tower Hill,
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> >
> > Jisc Services Limited is a wholly owned Jisc subsidiary and a company
> limited by guarantee which is registered in England under company number
> 2881024, VAT number GB 197 0632 86. The registered office is: One Castle
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