I'll follow on to what Ethan said with a recommendation for a step one may
take if one wishes to distinguish further between genre and form and/or
prepare one's data for RDF or other modeling which allow that distinction.
In EAD3, although not in EAD 2002, the <genreform> element has an option to
use @localtype. This would allow an institution to indicate a functional
difference between information about genres and formats in the element.


On Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 9:44 AM, Ethan Gruber <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I think Jane's statement is about the conflation of genre and format. In
> your example, "Interviews" is the "genre" and "Audiocassette" is the
> format. Or rather, Audiocassette is an object type according to the Getty
> AAT (, and format might be reserved
> for some other technical information about the audiocassette. EAD finding
> aids typically contain a huge range of genre and/or format values within
> the genreform element, which makes it difficult to clean up into meaningful
> search facets in publication. This is why the Europeana Data Model has a
> dcterms:format and an edm:hasType (for genre).
> Ethan
> On Wed, Apr 26, 2017 at 9:33 AM, Michele R Combs <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I think of it this way: genre is to word-things as  form is to  3-D things
>> In other words, a picture can be oil, watercolor, charcoal, chalk, ink,
>> etc.
>> A book or an audiotape can be interviews, memoir, fiction, sci fi,
>> horror, etc.
>> If we had a collection of interviews on audiotape, we would give it both
>> applicable terms:
>> <genreform>Audiocassette</genreform>
>> <genreform>Interviews.</genreform>
>> Michele
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Encoded Archival Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
>> Behalf Of Jane Stevenson
>> Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 4:29 AM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: 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]
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