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

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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
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