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Subject fields are supposed to be what a work is _about_, while a genre field is what a work _is_.  Originally, 650 fields were subject fields.  The $v was added to create genre fields.  But this causes some difficulties, because some $v subfield are identical to $x fields.  When displayed without the subfield delimiters, it is impossible to tell whether a string is a subject or a genre.

There is no technical difference between the function of a 650 $v and a 655, except that they are different vocabularies.  They both serve the same purpose.  In practice, there may be differences in the way the ILS treats the fields, or differences in authority control.

The LCGFT FAQ at the Library of Congress website says:

There are no plans at this time to discontinue the use of form subdivisions on subject headings; catalogers should continue to apply them according to the guidelines set forth in the Subject Headings Manual.  Form subdivisions of subject headings (tags 600, 610, 630, 650, and 651) should be applied even if genre/form terms (tag 655) appear in the same bibliographic record.  Example:

  Title:  Arsenic and old lace
  650 #0 $a Serial murders $v Drama.
  650 #0 $a Mentally ill $v Drama.
  650 #0 $a Maiden aunts $v Drama.
  655 #7 $a Comedy films. $2 lcgft
  655 #7 $a Film adaptations. $2 lcgft
  655 #7 $a Feature films. $2 lcgft
  655 #7 $a Fiction films. $2 lcgft

You should not remove LCGFT terms from the master record in WorldCat.  What you do in your own catalog is up to you.  But the LC policy would be to have both.

                                                                                Steve McDonald
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From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of John Lavalie
Sent: Thursday, August 9, 2018 9:57 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [PCCLIST] Fiction genres vs. --Fiction

What's the difference between

650 Werewolves--Fiction.
   and
655 Werewolf fiction.   ?


I think there is no difference and I'm considering flipping (locally) those 650s to 655s.  Is there a difference I'm missing?


John Lavalie | Cataloging and Metadata Specialist | Des Plaines Public Library | http://dppl.org