Working with Form Division Tables in KF Modified – (Part 2)

23Nov2011 at 2:49 pm (Cataloguing) (, )

This is the second in a series of posts looking at the use of the form division tables in KF Modified. If you missed the first post please see the introductory remarks in part 1.

As previously mentioned there are 9 form division tables available for use in KF Modified. Each table is identified using a Roman numeral and most are meant to be used with classification numbers that contain a specific range of numbers or single numbers with special characteristics.

Table II for example is used with classification numbers that span 10 numbers. KF3861 to KF3870, the classification number for resources about ‘Food. Drugs. Cosmetics’, is an example of a classification number that contains 10 numbers.

Here are the 9 available tables along with their corresponding number ranges:

Table I 20 numbers
Table II 10 numbers
Table III 5 numbers
Table IV 5 numbers
Table V 2 numbers
Table IV 1 number
Table VII topics represented by Cutter numbers
Table VIII form divisions under single-numbered captions for general works
Table IX modified form divisions for state law

At this point don’t worry about Tables VII, VIII and IX. As you can see they are to be used in special situations and we’ll come back to those after we’ve mastered the first 6 tables.

When looking at these first 6 tables the first question that comes to my mind is: why are there two tables for classification numbers with 5 numbers? I’m not sure about the history behind these two tables so I don’t have a good answer. They are different though with Table III having fewer available form divisions to choose from than Table IV. So let’s park that question for now.

I would say the most frequently used tables in KF Modified are Table VI for single classification numbers and Table II for 10 numbers. You’ll also encounter Tables I, III and IV in the schedule, but less often.

In the KF Modified schedule the cataloguer will be instructed to use one of the tables using the following type of notation:

3124 Interference practice (VI)

This tells the cataloguer that when classifying a title in KF3124 you would use Table VI when applying the applicable form division.


Road traffic. Automotive transportation
2201-2210         Motor vehicles in general (II)

tells the cataloguer to use the Table II form division table when the title covers motor vehicles in general.

Recall that when a number is eligible for the Geographic Division the form tables are not used. So for something like this,

Business corporations
1396-1415         General (I) (G.D. 1415 [1396-1415])

the G.D. takes precedent and the form division Table I is not used.

So a conference dealing with Australian business corporations in general would be classed in KF1415.ZD4 not KF1414.A2 (the form division for Congresses, Symposia, Collected papers, addresses, and essays). However, if you were classifying a collection of papers dealing with the law of U.S. business corporations in general you would use Table I and KF1415.A2 would be the correct number to use.

OK, so try this quick exercise:

Which form division table would you use for the following classification numbers or range of numbers in KF Modified?


We’ll review the answers and look at the form divisions in more detail in the next post.

Have a good week!

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Working with Form Division Tables in KF Modified – (Part 1)

11Nov2011 at 3:25 pm (Cataloguing) (, )

One of the areas that can be challenging when working with KF Modified is the application of the various form division tables. The general idea is carried over from the form division tables used in the Library of Congress Classification (LCC). The form divisions bring together similar resources based on the form in which they were published. For example, bibliographies, periodicals, conference publications, etc., will be grouped together within a particular classification number.

The form divisions are intended to do the same thing in KF Modified. However, there are a couple of things to be aware of right off the top when using these tables in KF Modified.

  • Form division tables are not used with numbers that use the G.D. (Geographic Division)
  • There are a number of categories listed in the form division tables that are only to be used when cataloguing U.S. federal resources (these are marked with an asterisk in the tables); otherwise they are not used

Keep this in the back of your mind. We’ll return to these two points later as we work our way through this series.

The form division tables where completely revised in the LCC in 2007. Many subdivisions were discontinued at that time and reassigned to some of the other existing form division numbers. The discontinued form division numbers appear in parentheses in the tables and include a note indicating which number should is now applicable.

For example:

(14.5)        Encyclopedias
                           The Library of Congress discontinued use of this form
                           subdivision in 2007
                           see 17

17              Dictionaries. Encyclopedias

There are nine form division tables available for use in KF Modified. Gone are the days when most of these form division tables were laid out in one large table in KF Modified with each table appearing in its own column. It was a rather confusing set up. Each table is now presented on its own making it much easier to read and determine which of the form divisions should be used.

Over the next little while I’ll take a closer look at these form division tables, provide some general practice information and tips, and work through a few examples.

* Thanks to Joanne Berent, Reference Librarian at Gowlings in Toronto, for suggesting this series.

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