MARC 655 Index Term - Genre/Form

MARC field 655 in the bibliographic format contains information about the genre and/or form of an item. This field is repeatable.

Commonly-used tags

1st indicator - Type of heading

# - Basic
1 - Faceted

2nd indicator - Thesaurus

0 - LCSH
7 - Source specified in ǂ2

Subfield delimiters

ǂ3 Materials specified (NR)
ǂa Genre/form term (R)
ǂy Chronological subdivision (R)
ǂz Geographical subdivision (R)
ǂ2 Source of term (NR)
ǂ5 Institution to which field applies (NR)

Policy and formulation

  • Use controlled vocabularies whenever possible. Prefer RBMS terms; if appropriate RBMS terms do not exist, consult AAT as a backup. If appropriate terms are not found in either of these vocabularies, use LCSH, TGM, or local terms.
    • Generally, follow the genre/form term in the subfield ǂa with a period. Exception: terms from all RBMS vocabularies except the RBMS-Genre list are followed by their list name in parentheses, i.e., "Prayer books" vs. "Prize books (Provenance)". In this case, the closing parentheses is the final punctuation mark; do not follow with a period. (See example below.)
    • Always include a subfield ǂ2 to specify the source of the term, using an abbreviation from the Genre/Form Code and Term Source Codes List. Note that terms from RBMS-Printing and RBMS-Publishing have separate source codes, even though they are published as a combined thesaurus (RBMS Printing & Publishing Evidence).
  • As of 2014, Folger catalogers generally do not subdivide genre/form terms.
  • Be accurate when providing terms; consult established scope notes and Folger scope notes (currently located on Bard Classic). However, be wary of being too specific, and include broader terms when this may support user access (e.g., use both "Presentation inscriptions" and "Authors' presentation inscriptions"). Needs discussion


655 7 ǂa Publishers' advertisements. ǂ2 rbgenr
655 7 ǂ3 copy 1 ǂa Presentation inscriptions (Provenance) ǂ2 rbprov ǂ5 DFo
655 7 ǂa Picture postcards. ǂ2 aat
655 7 ǂa Manuscripts from print. ǂ2 local

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