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Form Genre

Page history last edited by Deborah J. Leslie 9 years, 6 months ago

Form/Genre Terms and Relationship Designators



Form/Genre Terms

General conventions


  • New policy: do not subdivide genre terms; apply terms from Genre Terms thesaurus even if not on this list
  • Routinely apply terms on this list to all applicable vault materials, regardless of age.
  • Other terms may be selectively applied for unusual or outstanding examples of a feature (e.g., Fan style bindings for the book we purchased in honor of Frank's retirement)
  • Do not subdivide any terms.
  • Terms based on copy-specific features should always have ‡5DFo at the end of the string. This includes all provenance evidence and, for rare books, binding terms.
  • If the scope note does not come from the same source as the term, identify its source. E.g., (for Blank forms) AAT scope: Forms whose spaces provided for information have not been filled.
  • If the scope note from another thesaurus is for the same concept as our term but has a variant form, identify the exact term. E.g., (for Autographs) AAT scope for Signatures (names)
  • If the term has any UF's, either in its own term record in the source thesaurus, or because of a local usage decision, add them to the end of the scope note and make reciprocal See references. E.g., (for Games) Use for materials designed for play, usually according to prescribed rules. Folger practice: UF Anagrams, Charades, Puzzles, Riddles; e.g. (for Charades) Charades use Games
  • Terms need to be approved by the Head of Cataloging, in consultation with curators and others.


Links to controlled vocabularies, in order of preference:


Selected form/genre terms


Acting editions  ǂ2rbgenr Use for plays with extensive printed production information. Folger practice: apply when an edition explicitly identifies itself as the text of the play as it was performed, usually using words like "as it is acted at the Theatre-Royal, Covent-Garden" or "Printed from the promptbook. They will often have cast lists, but that is not a necessary criterion.
ǂ2rbgenr AAT scope for Speeches: Documents containing the text of any public address or talk.
ǂ2rbgenr Use for works containing a calendar of days, weeks, and months, together with information such as astronomical data, various statistics, etc. Do not use for modern factual compendia such as the World Almanac.
Annotations (Provenance)
ǂ2rbprov ǂ5DFo Use for remarks, notes, highlighting or commentary (generally in manuscript) on the text or on the history or provenance of the material. Folger practice: Subdivide by ǂy <century> as estimated
Booksellers' advertisements
Use this term rather than "Publishers' advertisements" for examples appearing before the roles of bookseller and publisher were clearly differentiated.
Botanical illustrations
ǂ2gmgpc  Illustrations of plants or plant life. Used for Botanical drawings.
Cast lists
Use for lists associating specific performers with their parts.
Clasps (Binding)  ǂ2rbbin ǂ5DFo AAT scope: Fasteners made of two or more parts, often of metal, and consisting of separate interlocking hooking and catching elements that hold together two or more objects or complimentary parts of the same object. Folger practice: Use whenever there is evidence of original clasps, even if now missing.
Concealed editions (Publishing) ǂ2rbpub
Use for closely similar editions, printed from substantially different settings of type, not distinguished as such by the printer and/or publisher
Cookbooks ǂ2rbgenr
Folger practice: Use for books of cooking directions and recipes. UF Receipt books
Emblem books  ǂ2rbgenr Use for collections of emblems, i.e., mottoes or epigrams accompanied by a verse and sometimes a symbolic illustration, based upon a poetic conceit or moral statement, particularly popular in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Ephemerides ǂ2rbgenr
Use for works giving the computed positions of celestial bodies for each day or other regular interval; used by navigators and astronomers.
Extra-illustrated copies (Provenance)

ǂ2rbprov ǂ5DFo

Folger practice: Use only when enough material was added to necessitate rebinding. Otherwise, use Insertions (Provenance)
Fists (Provenance)
ǂ2rbprov ǂ5DFo Use for previous owners' indications drawing attention to text. UF: Index fingers, Note signs, Pointing hands, Manicules (local UF); BT Annotations
Illustrated works ǂ2rbgenr
Folger practice: Use for works which are 30% or more illustrative matter, or for works whose illustrations are particularly significant. Do not use for armorials.
Insertions (Provenance)

ǂ2rbprov ǂ5DFo

Use for any kind of insertion that might allow identification of the provenance, e.g., autograph letter, news clipping, photograph, etc. Folger practice: Use for insertions with intrinsic interest (e.g., flyers, pictures, flowers, newspaper clippings), whether there is just one or several. Do not use for insertions without intrinsic interest, such as a plain strip of paper used as a bookmark, unless there's firm evidence of specific former owner placement (for example, if it's pinned). For numerous insertions requiring rebinding, use Extra-illustrated copies (Provenance).
Interleaved copies (Provenance) ǂ2local ǂ5DFo
Use for books with blank leaves bound in between the printed leaves for the entering of additional content by hand. Folger practice: not to be used for tissues bound in to protect illustrations.
Manuscript waste (Binding) ǂ2rbbin ǂ5DFo Folger practice: Use for the presence of manuscript waste paper in bindings
Medical formularies ǂ2rbgenr
Use for works not having the contemporary status of a standard. … Folger practice: Use for works formulating the ingredients and amounts to be used in medical preparations. UF Receipt books.
Newsletters ǂ2rbgenr
AAT scope: In the 16th and 17th centuries, manuscript reports produced for special subscribers and issued irregularly or weekly; from the 20th century to the present, periodic reports on the activities of a business or organization.
Petitions ǂ2rbgenr
AAT scope: Includes any written requests and lists of signatures submitted to an authority to appeal for the performance of specific action.
Prices (Provenance)

ǂ2rbprov ǂ5DFo

Use for prices in materials indicating purchase cost information by a previous owner or relating to secondary selling, e.g., second-hand dealer prices, auction prices. Folger practice: Use for pre-19th century manuscript prices, especially auction prices.
Printed waste (Binding) ǂ2rbbin ǂ5DFo
Folger practice: Use for the presence of printed waste paper in bindings
Printers' advertisements ǂ2rbgenr
Folger practice: Use for advertisements for books &c. printed by an entity who is clearly not the bookseller or publisher
Printing privileges (Publishing) ǂ2rbpub Folger practice: use for printed works containing a statement granting an exclusive right to print a work or a class work of works. UF Imprimaturs: works containing an official endorsement of the content, usually by the Roman Catholic church. Subdivide by ǂz <Country> ǂz <City> ǂy <Date>
Proclamations ǂ2rbgenr
AAT scope: Documents that are publicly announced or officially declared; especially a public notice by an official of some order, intended action, or state of facts.
Publishers' advertisements ǂ2rbgenr
Use "Booksellers' advertisements" rather than this term for examples appearing before the roles of bookseller and publisher were clearly differentiated.
Satires ǂ2rbgenr
AAT scope for Satires (document genre): Literary compositions in verse or prose in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule. Folger practice: use for both literary and visual satires.
Subscription lists (Publishing) ǂ2rbpub
AAT scope: Lists or records of subscriptions and subscribers.
Ties (Binding) ǂ2rbbin ǂ5DFo
AAT scope for ties (fasteners): Cords, bands, or similar flexible devices used for fastening, especially by interlacing, such as in a knot or bow. Folger practice: Use whenever there is evidence of original ties on bindings, even if now missing.
Trial proceedings ǂ2rbgenr
Folger practice: Use for official or unofficial written accounts of judicial trials of any kind
Underscoring (Provenance)

ǂ2rbprov ǂ5DFo

Folger practice: use for resources that have been underlined in ms.


Relationship Designators


annotator Use for writer of manuscript annotations on a printed item. Folger practice: use also for annotations on a manuscript.
artist Use for a person who conceives, and perhaps also implements, an original graphic design or work of art. Prefer "Ill." for book illustrators. Folger practice: use for graphic materials, and for manuscripts when the image stands alone. For books, and for manuscript images that accompany text, use "ill."
associated name Use with a name associated with or found in an item or collection, or which cannot be determined to be that of a "Former owner" or other relationship indicative of provenance.
attributed name MARC: Use to relate an author, artist, etc. to a work for which there is or once was substantial authority for designating that person as author, creator, etc.
binder MARC: Use for a person or organization responsible for the binding of printed or manuscript materials
binding designer Use for the person responsible for the layout and design of the book binding
book designer Use for the person or body responsible for the entire graphic design of a book, including arrangement of type and illustration, choice of materials, and process used.
bookseller MARC: Use for a person or organization who makes books and other bibliographic materials available for purchase. Interest in the materials is primarily lucrative. Folger practice: prefer over publisher for pre-1831 books, except when "publisher" or equivalent is used. Do not use in art cataloging
calligrapher MARC: Use for a person or organization who writes in an artistic hand, usually as a copyist and/or engrosser
collector Use for person who has brought together material from various sources, which has been arranged, described, and cataloged as a collection. The collector is neither the creator of the material nor the person to whom manuscripts in the collection may have been addressed.
compiler AACR2 form "comp." required. Use for person who produces a work or publication by selecting and putting together material from the works of various persons or bodies. Folger practice: use for someone who assembles a scrapbook, commonplace book, miscellany, &c. Use "compiler" instead of "comp." Note that we are departing from standard relationship designator list by spelling the term out instead of using "comp.," but have decided to do so to prevent potential confusion with "composer" or "compositor."
copyright holder MARC: A person or organization to whom copy and legal rights have been granted or transferred for the intellectual content of a work. The copyright holder, although not necessarily the creator of the work, usually has the exclusive right to benefit financially from the sale and use of the work to which the associated copyright protection applies. Folger practice: use only for post-1830 Shakespeareana.
correspondent Use for person or body who was either the writer or recipient of a letter or other communication. Folger practice: use "correspondent" only for the writer; use "recipient" for the receiver
dedicatee Use for a person or organization to whom a book, manuscript, etc., is dedicated (NOT the recipient of a gift). Folger practice: used only in exceptional circumstances, e.g., visual materials that would otherwise have little controlled access, names of prominent people to whom dedications were not routine.
dedicator Use for the author of a dedication, which may be a formal statement or in epistolary or verse form. Folger practice: do not use if the name is already traced in another capacity.
depicted see Use of "depicted" in subject headings
distributor MARC: Use for a person or organization that has exclusive or shared marketing rights for an item.
donor Use for the entity who donates a book, manuscript, etc. to the present owner [Folger practice: use in 79X only].
electrotyper MARC: Use for a person or organization who creates a duplicate printing surface by pressure molding and electrodepositing of metal that is then backed up with lead for printing. Folger practice: will consider using "collotyper" if and when that function is identified in a manufacturing statement.
forger MARC: Use for a person or organization who makes or imitates something of value or importance, especially with the intent to defraud
former owner Use for person or body owning a book, manuscript, etc., in the past. Include person or body to whom book was once presented as named in a statement inscribed by another person or body; person or body giving book to present owner is designated as Donor. Folger practice: do not publicly trace donors' names without specific instructions to do so, typically with large collections, using "former owner" as the relationship designator.
funder marcrelator term. Folger practice: Use in the 79X for the named entity that furnished financial support for the purchase (indicated only on a gift plate before July 2013)
honoree Use for the entity in whose memory or honor a book, manuscript, etc. is donated [Folger practice: or paid for. Use in 79X only].
ill. AACR2 form "ill." required. Use for person who conceives, and perhaps also implements, a design or illustration, usually to accompany a written text. Folger practice: use in cataloging textual works, even when the original art work was not meant to accompany text. Do not use for graphic materials cataloging; use "artist" instead.
illuminator Use for a person or organization responsible for the decoration of a work (especially manuscript material) with precious metals or color, usually with elaborate designs and motifs.
inscriber Use for the person who signs [i.e. writes] a presentation statement.
photographer Use for person or body responsible for taking photographs, whether they are used in their original form or as reproductions.
printer MARC: Use for a person or organization who prints texts, whether from type or plates.
printer of plates Use for printer of illustrations from plates.
printmaker Use for the person who makes a relief, intaglio, or planographic printing surface.
publisher MARC: Use for a person or organization that makes printed matter, often text, but also printed music, artwork, etc. available to the public. Folger practice: prefer bookseller for pre-1831 books, except when "published" or equivalent is used. In art cataloging, use for publisher, distributor, etc. even in the case of a printer or printseller functioning as a publisher
recipient Use for person to whom correspondence is addressed.
rubricator Use for a person or organization responsible for parts of a work, often headings or opening parts of a manuscript, that appear in a distinctive color, usually red.
scribe Use for amanuensis and for the writer of manuscripts proper. Folger practice: use "scribe" only for copyists of medieval and early modern manuscripts; use "transcriber" for copyists of modern (post-1700) manuscripts, whether handwritten or typewritten, &c.
signer Use for the person whose [ms.] signature appears without a presentation or other statement indicative of provenance. When there is a presentation statement, use "inscriber." Folger practice: use also for witnesses or endorsers of receipts, signers of deeds and other legal documents, and signers of Privy Council letters and other manuscripts that are in a scribal hand and signed by multiple members. Names that appear in the record anyway as main or added entry do not get "signer" as an additional relationship designator.
stereotyper MARC: Use for a person or organization who creates a new plate for printing by molding or copying another printing surface.
transcriber Use for person who prepares a handwritten or typewritten copy from original material, including from dictated or orally recorded material. Folger practice: use "scribe" for copyists of medieval and early modern manuscripts.
typographer Use for person primarily responsible for choice and arrangement of type used in an item. Folger practice: Use only when a typographer is specifically named as such.





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