Feature Films Cataloging


Feature Film & Television Cataloging Guidelines


Classification Guidelines

Subject Access Guidelines

Access Points Guidelines

Classification Guidelines:

Feature films (including motion pictures, made-for-television movies, cable movies, and miniseries with a running time of 40 minutes or more):

            PN1995.9.xx (cutter by genre) xx (cutter by title to at least 3 digits)

Television programs (episodic television and cable series):

            PN1992.8.xx (cutter by genre) xx (cutter by title to at least 3 digits)

Approved genre cutters for feature films and television programs:

Action/Adventure .A3
Children's .C44
Comedy .C55
Detective/Mystery/Crime .D4
Drama (those that do not fit into the other approved genres) .D7
Horror .H6
Musical .M86
Reality (Television programs only) .R43
Science Fiction/Fantasy .S26
War .W3
Western .W4

Silent films (domestic or foreign)

             PN1995.75.xx (cutter by title)

Foreign Films/Foreign Television Programs: 

            Feature films: PN1997.xx (cutter by original language) xx (cutter by title on

            Television programs: PN1992.8.xx (cutter by original language) xx (cutter by title on 

Foreign language cutters:  

Language Cutter Red tape abbreviation
Albanian .A5 AB
Amharic .A6 AH
Arabic .A7 AR
Armenian .A8 AM
Bambara .B3 BA
Bengali .B4 BE
Bosnian .B6 BO
Catalan .C3 RU
Chinese .C5 CH
Criolo .C7 CR
Czech .C9 CZ
Danish .D3 DN
Dutch .D8 DU
Finnish .F5 FI
French .F7 FR
Georgian .G3 GO
German .G4 GE
Greek .G8 GR
Hebrew .H4 HE
Hindi .H5 HI
Hungarian .H9 HU
Indonesian .I4 ID
Inuktitut .I5 IN
Italian .I7 IT
Japanese .J3 JP
Jula .J8 JU
Korean .K6 KO
Kurdish .K8 KU
Lapp (Sami) .L3 LA
Macedonian .M3 MA
Mongolian .M6 MN
Mossi .M7 MO
Norwegian .N7 NW
Ojibwa (Chippewa) .O5 OJ
Pashtu .P3 PA
Persian (Farsi) .P4 PS
Polish .P5 PO
Portuguese .P6 PR
Romanian .R6 RO
Russian .R8 RU
Serbo-Croatian .S4 SC
Spanish .S6 SP
Swedish .S9 SW
Tagalog .T3 TA
Tamil .T4 TM
Thai .T5 TH
Tibetan .T6 TI
Turkish .T8 TU
Ukrainian .U4 UK
Urdu .U7 UR
Vietnamese .V5 VT
Wolof .W6 WO
Yiddish .Y5 YI
Yugoslav .Y8 YU
Zulu (Tsotsitaal) .Z8 ZU

Additional Guidelines:

  •      If a title begins with a numeral, cutter the title using .A12-.A19 so that it will shelve before titles beginning with A. Construct such cutters to include the numeral so that titles file in numerical order. Examples in order in the Drama (.D7) section:

    Film title Call number
    3 Women PN1995.9.D7 A123
    8 Mile PN1995.9.D7 A128
    21 Grams PN1995.9.D7 A1321
    187 PN1995.9.D7 A14187
    3000 Miles to Graceland PN1995.9.D7 A16300


  •      If a film is silent it will be classed under Silent Films, overriding any other genre choices. 

  •       Literary masterpieces will be interfiled in the appropriate genre (i.e., feature film adaptations of Jane Austen's or Shakespeare's works will not be shelved together by author, but by appropriate genre, such as Comedy, Drama, etc.). Theatrical or staged performances of literary masterpieces will remain in PR or PS etc. (i.e., theatrical performances of Shakespeare's plays still remain in PR2801 - PR2840.A2 xx (cuttered by director)).

  •       Foreign films are defined as those produced in a foreign language (with or without subtitles): 

    •  The title in 245 |a is the prominent title on the title screen (usually the foreignlanguage title). The translated title is the parallel title in 245 |b. 

    •  Foreign films will be classed under the appropriate foreign language (i.e., PN1997.F7 xx for a French language film), overriding any other genre choices.

o       The second cutter in the call number will be taken from the prominent title on the container. This may be the foreign title or the English title.

o        Silent foreign films will be classed under Silent Films.

o       English language films made outside the U.S. and foreign language films that have been dubbed into English are classed by appropriate genre, and not as Foreign films. Example: the Italian comedy Ieri, Oggi, Domain dubbed into English and retitled Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is classed in PN1995.9.C55

o       English language films that have been dubbed into another language are classed by appropriate genre, and not as Foreign films. Example: Babe dubbed into French is classed in PN1995.9.C44.

  •       Children's films will include the following:

o       Live action films made primarily for children/family rated G or PG (i.e., Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Free Willy)

o       Animated films made for children/family rated G or PG (i.e., Shrek, The Aristocats). Note: animated films rated PG-13 or R are not classed under Children's films, but in the appropriate genre for the film.

o       Children's literature adaptations (i.e., Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden)

  •          Theatrical or staged Musical and Opera performances will be classed under: 
                    M1527.xx (cutter by author/musician) xx (cutter by title)

  •                   Documentary films will continue to be classed under the appropriate A-Z section of the LC scheme, with enhanced subject access including the heading Documentary films. 

Subject Access Guidelines:

For all Feature Films (domestic or foreign):  

             650 Feature films
                650 Video recordings for the hearing impaired [if closed captioned]

For all Feature Films made in Wilmington:
        Also Use:
             650 Feature films |z North Carolina |z Wilmington 

For all Foreign Films:  
        Also Use:

             650 Foreign films
                650 Motion pictures, country (use possessive form of country name)
                    e.g. Motion pictures, Spanish

        Note: the country of origin and the language may not always correspond. For
        example, most films produced in Brazil are in the Portuguese language. In this case the
        film would have the subject heading "Motion pictures, Brazilian" but the call number
        would be PN1997.P6.xx for the Portuguese language.

For all Silent Films:
650 Silent films

For Musical Films (i.e., Singin' in the Rain, Chicago, etc.)
                650 Musical films
        Note: Do not use 650 Musicals (this heading is for music for theatrical
              productions, not for feature film musicals)

For all Television Programs:
             650 Television programs

For all Foreign Television Programs:
650 Foreign television programs

For all Reality Television Programs:
650 Reality television programs

For all Television Programs made in Wilmington:
650 Television programs |z North Carolina |z Wilmington


For all DVDs:

                690 DVD     [local heading]

        [Note: we do not currently use a local 690 heading for VHS.]

For all Documentary Films:
650 Documentary films

For all Documentary Television Programs:
650 Documentary television programs

Approved genre subject headings for Feature Films:  

650    Adventure films
650   Children's films
650   Comedy films
650   Detective and mystery films
650   Horror films
650   Musical films
650   Science fiction films
650   War films
650   Western films

Sample subject headings for Television Programs:

Animated television programs
Detective and mystery television programs
Fantasy television programs
Foreign television programs
Horror television programs
Reality television programs
Science television programs
Science fiction television programs
Spy television programs
Television comedies
True crime television programs
Western television programs

See more headings under LCSH headings:
Motion Pictures, NT
Television programs, NT

  Topical Headings:
To be established according to the main topic(s) of a feature film using |v Drama,
            such as:

    Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
            650   0 Race relations |v Drama
            650   0 Intermarriage |v Drama

    Lawrence of Arabia
            600  10 Lawrence, T.E. |q (Thomas Edward), |d 1888-1935 |v Drama 
            650    0 World War, 1914-1918 |z Arabian Peninsula |v Drama

Access Points Guidelines:

245 |c Statement of responsibility

Besides film production companies, the following persons with "overall responsibility" for the creation of the film go into 245 |c: 

  • director(s)
  • producer(s)
  • screenwriter(s)

These individuals' names need to be traced in 700 fields. If there is no OCLC authority record for the person, mark the name in the bib. record for Susannah. She will try to create a name authority record for this person.

511 Cast members

List prominent cast members found in the chief source of information (title frames and container). Prominent cast members' names need to be traced in 700 fields if authority records are available in the OCLC Authority File. If there is no authority record for a well-known film actor/actress, mark the name(s) and give the record Susannah.

508 Creation/production credits

List these major contributors to the artistic or technical production of a feature film:

  • cinematographer(s)

  • music composer(s)

  • film editor(s)

Trace their names in 700 fields if authority records are available in OCLC Authority File. 

There is no need to add the names of other contributors if they are not already listed in the bib. record. Other contributors include production managers; production designers; art director; costume designers; visual effects; assistants or associates; executive producers etc. Also do not trace these contributors' names in 700 fields.

500 Adaptation Information

If applicable, make a note indicating the literary work that the item is based on. Trace the author's name in an analytical 700 field with author and title access.

650 Subject Added Entry

Compare the record being cataloged with other bib. records for the same title in our catalog and add subject headings where necessary so that all records are consistent. 

700 Added Entry -- personal names

Summary of the contributors and cast members whose name need to be traced in 700 fields:

  • director(s)

  • producer(s)

  • screenwriter(s)

  • prominent cast members

  • story/book author (analytical entry for both the author and title)

  • cinematographer(s)

  • music composer(s)

  • film editor(s)

Last Update: November 2, 2021