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CUNY OLS Resource Description and Metadata Services: Cataloging Comics and Graphic Novels

OLS RDMS documentation

Cataloging Comics and Graphic Novels

Guidelines for Cataloging Comic Books and Graphic Novels

CUNY OLS 7-10-19 (adopted from TCNJ)

Introduction

Apply the following guidelines to comic strips, single-panel cartoons, comic books, and graphic novels. The document also covers non-fiction works written in comic book style. 

Basic questions for cataloging comic materials

The most basic question for cataloging comic materials is to determine 1) whether the work being cataloged is a "fiction" or "nonfiction" material, and 2) whether it is a juvenile or non-juvenile material "Fiction" comic books are stories written in comic book or graphic novel style, while "nonfiction" comic books are nonfiction works written in comic book or graphic novel style.

008 fixed fields

 

Fiction comic books

Nonfiction comic books

"Contents"

6 (Comics/graphic novels)

"Literary form"

1 (Fiction works)

0 (Nonfiction works)

 Subject Headings – 6XX fields (LCSH)

Follow general cataloging guidelines to assign subject headings to comic books to bring out the subject content of the materials. Always use – Comic books, strips, etc. as a form subdivision for both fiction and nonfiction works. Follow specific instructions below when other form subdivisions are needed.

    1. Juvenile materials

When using $v Comic books, strips, etc., do not add or interpose juvenile form subdivisions. The following patterns are NOT allowed:

    650 _0 $a Pigs $v Comic books, strips, etc. $v Juvenile fiction.
    650 _0 $a Pigs $v Juvenile fiction $v Comic books, strips, etc.
    650 _0 $a Pigs $v Comic books, strips, etc. $v Juvenile literature.
    650 _0 $a Pigs $v Juvenile literature $v Comic books, strips, etc.

For juvenile works, TCNJ Library follows LC policy and assign a pair of subject headings subdivided by $v Comic books, strips, etc. as well as by $v Juvenile fiction or $v Juvenile literature. (Note the different age-level definitions for juvenile fiction vs. nonfiction works)

Graphic novel/fiction comic book featuring Vietnam War

Nonfiction comic book on climate change and environmental protection

650 _0 $a Vietnam War, 1961-1975 $v Comic books, strips, etc.
650 _0 $a Vietnam War, 1961-1975 $v Juvenile fiction.
 

650 _0 $a Climatic changes $v Comic books, strips, etc.
650 _0 $a Climatic changes $v Juvenile literature.
650 _0 $a Environmental protection $v Comic books, strips, etc.
650 _0 $a Environmental protection $v Juvenile literature.

For a collection of short graphic novels, we also locally assign additional headings like War stories, American, Detective and mystery stories, American; Science fiction, American, etc. if appropriate, per SHM H1790 guideline on designating the form of collections for collections of fiction.

Example (collection of three juvenile graphic novels featuring Vietnam War)

650 _0 $a Vietnam War, 1961-1975 $v Comic books, strips, etc.
650 _0 $a Vietnam War, 1961-1975 $v Juvenile fiction.
650 _0 $a War stories, American.

    2. Non-juvenile materials

For both fiction and nonfiction comics, assign subject headings subdivided by $v Comic books, strips, etc., which denotes both fiction and nonfiction works.

Graphic novel/Fiction comic books about Vietnam War

Nonfiction comic book on climate change and environmental protection

650 _0 $a Vietnam War, 1961-1975 $v Comic books, strips, etc.
 

650 _0 $a Climatic changes $v Comic books, strips, etc.
650 _0 $a Environmental protection $v Comic books, strips, etc.
 

For a collection of short graphic novels, we also locally assign headings like War stories, American, Detective and mystery stories, American; Science fiction, American, etc. if appropriate, in addition to subject headings with $v Comic books, strips, etc. (See the juvenile example above)

 655 fields (genre/form terms)

    1. Fiction works

Assign 655 _0 $a Graphic novels or $a Comic books, strips, etc. depending on the type of comic books, regardless the work is a juvenile or non-juvenile material:

(1) 655 _0 $a Graphic novels is assigned to graphic novels and other fiction comic books with a single continuous narrative (or a collection of several separate narratives)--which are comparable to novels (or short stories).

(2) 655 _0 $a Comic books, strips, etc. is assigned to a collection or selection of comic strips, cartoons, and serial comics (e.g., Calvin and Hobbes, Doonesbury, Garfield, Peanuts).

Note: Specific genre/form terms found in 655 _0 fields (e.g., Horror comic books, strips, etc.).do not need to be deleted.

    2. Nonfiction works

No genre/form terms should be assigned in 655 fields. Delete any 655 _0 fields found on copy records.

 Call number

    1. Juvenile materials: Follow instructions established by each CUNY institution. In general, call# practice is based on the literary form (fiction or non-fiction, Dewey or LC classification systems) and local collection (catalog with call# or without call#, etc.)

1) Graphic novels and other fiction comic books with a single continuous narrative (or a collection of several separate narratives)

    Use 741.5 subarranged by country notation (creator's nationality--take numbers from DDC v. 1, Table 2)

Example:

Japanese graphic novels     741.5952 (09 from Table 1 and Japan -52)
U.S. graphic novels         741.5973 (09 from Table 1 and U.S. -73)

  Use LC class PN6790 subarranged by country notation (creator’s nationality)

        Example:

       Japanese graphic novels        PN6790.J34  (J3 – Japan, 4 – individual comic strips. By title)

2) Fiction comic strips or cartoons (e.g., Calvin and Hobbes, Doonesbury, Garfield, Peanuts)

    Use 741.56 subarranged by country notation (creator's nationality--see above)

Example:

Japanese comic strips     741.56952
U.S. cartoons             741.56973

3) Nonfiction works

    Class such works with the subject

530.0207 [juvenile comic book-style guide to physics]

    2. Non-Juvenile materials: Use LC call numbers for materials not acquired for the institution’s collection. See LC's Classification and Shelflisting Manual F565 for details.

 

Cataloging Comics and Graphic Novels