MARC 655 Index Term - Genre/Form

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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

2nd indicator - Thesaurus

7 - Source specified in ǂ2

Subfield delimiters

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

Policy and formulation

  • Use controlled vocabularies whenever possible. Prefer AAT terms; if appropriate AAT terms do not exist, consult RBMS as a backup (note: it's easier to find terms in the old RBMS site, just remember to check the new site to make sure they haven't changed). If appropriate terms are not found in either of these vocabularies, use LCGFT or TGM instead; as a last resort, LCSH or local terms.
    • Generally, follow the genre/form term in the subfield ǂa (or ǂx, when used) with a period. Exception: a closing parentheses is the final punctuation mark; do not follow with a period. (See examples 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.
  • As of 2014, Folger catalogers do not subdivide genre/form terms (exception: for art, subdivide 655s for Portraits into $x Male or $x Female if applicable).
  • Be accurate when providing terms; consult established scope notes and Folger scope notes. 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
  • When deciding whether or not it's worth providing controlled access to copy-specific information, ask yourself "If I were a researcher interested in [possible term], would I be disappointed if this came up from the vault?" For example, someone studying manicules would probably want to see a book with just one example of a manicule, but someone interested in annotations probably wouldn't appreciate discovering that the book they'd been waiting for only had one or two annotations.


655 7 ǂa Publishers' advertisements. ǂ2 rbgenr
655 7 ǂ3 Sh.Misc. 1847 ǂa Presentation inscriptions (Provenance) ǂ2 rbprov ǂ5 DFo
655 7 ǂa Picture postcards. ǂ2 aat
655 7 ǂa Manuscripts from print. ǂ2 local
655 7 ǂa Translations (documents) ǂ2 aat

External links