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Hi Jane!

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.

The wisdom of mimicking MARC in EAD can certainly be debated, but at least there is a reason behind the mashup that is <genreform>.

Now the reasoning why MARC combined genre, form, and physical characteristics into 655 predate me, so I can't shed much light there. I have always assumed it was a practicality intended to save a MARC field or two.

Mike



On Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 4:29 AM, Jane Stevenson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
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
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