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Not long ago I wanted to assign "Christmas--Fiction" to a book in which Christmas was a very important theme, but it was definitely not a "Christmas story" as a genre.

I find the limitations in H 1790 section 4 (biographic fiction, historical fiction, and animal stories) to be a bit arbitrary (why animal stories, but not holiday stories, etc.?).  Section 4 concludes with, "Assign no form headings to individual works of adult fiction, children's fiction, or young adult fiction."  So "Christmas stories" would not be assigned to a single novel or short story, but "Horses--Fiction" would be allowed because it is not a form heading, and because it fall under the "Animal stories" category.    If this limitation is ever eased, the cross-reference structure of some authority records will need to be altered.

Ed Kazzimir


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From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Monaco,Michael J [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2020 11:53 AM
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Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] "Christmas stories" and similar subject headings

H 1790 section 4 does put fairly strict limits on SH for individual works of fiction. (Only used for biographical and historical fiction, basically.) The “Special provisions” at the end of H 1790 still refer to GSAFD headings, so IMO the section needs updating.

But per H 1790 section 4, you still only use very specific 650s. So “650 Deer hunting – Fiction” is ok, but “Hunting—Fiction” is too general. 655s are generally fine. If I understand H 1790.

Mike Monaco (he/him)
Coordinator, Cataloging Services
261B Bierce Library
The University of Akron
Akron, Ohio 44325-1712
Office: 330-972-2446
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ORCID: 0000-0001-7244-5154

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Wilson, Pete
Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2020 2:50 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [PCCLIST] "Christmas stories" and similar subject headings

CAUTION: This email originated from outside of The University of Akron.
Hi,

There are certain LCSH headings like “Christmas stories” and “Hunting stories” which have long worried me a bit.

These headings have the cross references “Christmas – Fiction” and “Hunting – Fiction.”  If you want to use a subject heading to say that a work is fiction about Christmas, you’re led through the cross reference to the 150 “Christmas stories.”  That’s used instead of the topic + form combination “Christmas – Fiction.”

Yet “Christmas stories” looks very like a form/genre heading.  And there’s already a perfectly good LCGFT heading, “Christmas fiction.”  So do you abandon your 650, instead using only a 655, “Christmas fiction?”

My guess is no.  Why should we not have a 650 to say that what we’re cataloging is about Christmas?  We routinely give topical headings, subdivided  by form, to works of fiction, and “Christmas stories” is the authority-mandated substitute here for the topical heading “Christmas” subdivided by form “fiction.”  I’m thinking that “Christmas stories” is perfectly acceptable as a 650 for a novel about Christmas.  (Not just for a collection of Christmas stories.  The novel would get the heading “Christmas – Fiction” were that not unacceptable, so it gets “Christmas stories.”)

Does this sound correct?

Pete Wilson
Vanderbilt University