Definition of Subfield ‡v

Form subdivisions indicate what an item is rather than what it is about. Items can be assigned form subdivisions because of:

  • Their physical character (e.g., photographs, maps)
  • The particular type of data that they contain (e.g., bibliography, statistics)
  • The arrangement of information within them (e.g., diaries, indexes)
  • Their style, technique, purpose, or intended audience (e.g., romances, popular works)
  • A combination of the above (e.g., scores)

Form subdivisions are not new, but subfield ‡v is!

(Excerpted and modified from MARBI Proposal 95-02)

Why Subfield ‡v Implemented

  • To facilitate improved index displays in online catalogs
  • To allow for greater precision in searching
  • To provide more effective machine manipulation for database maintenance and validation
  • Information in the new form subfield could easily be moved to field 655 (Index Term--Genre/Form) at a later date if agencies decide to make more widespread use of that field

(Excerpted and modified from MARBI Proposal 95-02)

LC Implementation

In February 1999, the Library of Congress began to:

  • Code form subdivisions in bibliographic records using subfield ‡v
  • Code form subdivisions in subject authority records using subfield ‡v
  • Create subdivision authority records using the new 18X fields

(Click here to see record examples.)

All subdivision authority records include basic usage statements and instruction sheet numbers from the LC Subject Cataloging Manual. Some also include cross-references.

The creation of subdivision authority records is not yet complete.