Notes on LC Subject Headings for Literature:
Collections by Multiple Authors


Document sections

Introduction Minor literary genres
Major literary genres


Introduction

These notes provide guidelines on the construction of subject headings for literature and literary genres of particular nationalities, regions, languages, or religions.  They include information on the form of such literary headings and on valid types of subdivisions and combinations of subdivisions used with them.

For further information, see Subject Cataloging Manual:  Subject Headings, section H1156, Literature.


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Major literary genres

Headings for literature and the following five major literary genres are combined with adjectives for nationality, which precede the genre term in the subject heading.

literature

  1. drama
  2. essays
  3. fiction
  4. poetry
  5. prose literature

E.g.    650  0 a Argentine literature

E.g.    650  0 a Vietnamese fiction

E.g.    650  0 a American prose literature

E.g.    650  0 a Nigerian poetry

In some cases, in place of nationality, a term for a broader geographical grouping, language, or combination may be used.

E.g.    650  0 a African literature

E.g.    650  0 a Basque drama

E.g.    650  0 a Spanish American fiction

A term for a religion or religious denomination may also be used.

E.g.    650  0 a Islamic poetry

E.g.    650  0 a Catholic literature

A heading for a major literary genre may include a qualifier for language, in parentheses.  This construction is used to specify an applicable language when literatures in more than one language are found in a country or broader geographic area.

E.g.    650  0 a Swiss poetry (German)

E.g.    650  0 a North African fiction (French)

For inverted headings consisting of combinations of major genre with multiple terms not in parentheses, e.g., both religion and language or both religion and nationality, see below.

Subdivisions


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Minor literary genres

Literary genres other than the five major ones listed above (drama, essays, fiction, poetry, and prose literature) are treated by LC as minor genres.  They are combined with an adjective for nationality, which in most cases follows the genre term in the subject heading.

E.g.    650  0 a Short stories, English

E.g.    650  0 a Love poetry, Brazilian

E.g.    650  0 a Melodrama, Russian

E.g.    650  0 a Religious fiction, Argentine

E.g.    650  0 a Historical drama, Italian

A few exceptions exist in which a minor form is preceded by nationality.

E.g.    650  0 a American letters

In some cases, in place of nationality, a term for a broader geographical grouping, language, or combination may be used.  A term for a religion or religious denomination may also be used.

E.g.    650  0 a Detective and mystery stories, Latin American

E.g.    650  0 a Political poetry, Scottish Gaelic

E.g.    650  0 a Sonnets, Bengali

E.g.    650  0 a Autobiographical fiction, Assyro-Babylonian

E.g.    650  0 a Funeral sermons, Jewish

A heading for a minor literary genre may include a qualifier for language, in parentheses.  This construction is used to specify an applicable language when literatures in more than one language are found in a country or broader geographic area.

E.g.    650  0 a Short stories, Belgian (French)

E.g.    650  0 a Children's literature, Cameroon (English)

Please note:  Some combinations of major genre with multiple terms, e.g., both religion and language or both religion and nationality, result in inverted heading forms.

E.g.    650  0 a Jesuit poetry, Italian

E.g.    650  0 a Islamic drama, Arabic

E.g.    650  0 a Buddhist drama, Korean

The resulting inverted heading is generally treated as a minor literary genre.  For example, period and author group subdivisions are not generally used under such inverted headings (see examples below).  However, in DLC records, some other examples can be found that do not fit this pattern.

Subdivisions


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draft, 30 March 2004; rev. 15 September 2008

HTML document last reviewed:  15 September 2008