Serials: Special Types

Almanacs |  Comics |  Dime Novels |  Directories |  Little Magazines |  Newspapers |  Periodicals


Listed below are several of the different types of serials that Beinecke collects. This list is not comprehensive, but touches on a few of the major categories within the collections. Special treatment and special tracings are specified for each category, along with any historical information. Serials should have appropriate subject headings (subdivided by Periodicals, if allowed) and applicable genre tracings. For general information on cataloging serials for Beinecke Library, see Serials Cataloging.


Almanacs can be cataloged either as monographs or as serials. Early almanacs, usually published before the mid-nineteenth century, often have many title changes, changes in person who does the calculations and changes in the printer. Frequently there are two and sometimes three different editions of an almanac in the same year. In these situations, monographic cataloging is preferred.

In addition to required special tracings, such as imprint tracings, the genre term Almanacs is used.

655   7 ‡a Almanacs. ‡2 lcgft

The following subject is also traced for American almanacs:

650   0 ‡a Almanacs, American ‡z [state].
650   0 ‡a Almanacs, American ‡z Massachusetts

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Beinecke has a large collection of both cataloged and uncataloged comics. Some titles had as many as three copies of individual issues. In 2006 these collections were reviewed and decisions were made to keep or discard titles. The decision was also made to keep only the best copy of each issue.


Titles with 5 or more issues will be housed in folders and put into Hollinger boxes. The call number will be written on the top right corner of the folder. Titles with fewer than 5 issues will be stored in Gaylords.


The following guidelines are used when marking volumes:

  1. Mark on verso of last page, lower right hand corner. The lower left hand corner is the alternate location when the lower right hand corner is unusable.
  2. If the last page is unmarkable (e.g. too dark or shiny or filled with text or illustrations), mark the verso of the first usable page from the end.

Classification and Call Numbers

Comics new to Beinecke will be given a year/number call number. Comics currently classed in Folio year/number call number will not be reclassed, but only one copy of each issue will be kept and each issue will be housed in the appropriate "comic" folder.

Special notes and tracings

Subject headings will be made for characters already established with authority records, followed by the subdivision ‡v Comic books, strips, etc.

650   0 ‡a Batman (Fictitious character) ‡v Comic books, strips, etc.
650   0 ‡a Lane, Lois (Fictitious character) ‡v Comic books, strips, etc.
650   0 ‡a Supergirl (Fictitious character) ‡v Comic books, strips, etc.

The following genre term will be assigned to all comic books:

655   7 ‡a Comics (Graphic works) ‡2 lcgft

Make the following genre term for all underground comics:

655   7 ‡a Underground comics. ‡2 lcgft

Trace all publishers connected with a title.

Past Practice

The genre terms 'Comic books' and 'Comic books, strips, etc.' were formerly assigned to all comic books. As titles with these terms are encountered, the terms will be changed to the LCGFT form: Comics (Graphic works). At the end of processing all the comic books in the backlog, any outdated genre terms still remaining will be changed.

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Dime Novels

Dime novels were published in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, at regular intervals, usually weekly or more frequently. The works sometimes were reprints of popular novels by authors such as Dickens or Kipling or a series with common heros, such as Jesse James, Clif Stirling, Dick Dobbs, or Nick Carter. Frequently these were reprinted with either a different issue number and/or a different date. If this is the case, or if the novel is by an author that is collected by Beinecke, it is best to catalog them as monographs. In the past most dime novels have been cataloged as serials.

Use the genre term Dime novels.

655   7 ‡a Dime novels. ‡2 rbgenr


Many directories have been cataloged for Beinecke, particularly in the Western Americana Collection. These are cataloged as serials when possible. It is preferable to catalog these as monographs, however, if the title or geographical area covered changes almost every year. At Beinecke, many directories have been cataloged under the latest entry convention. Whether cataloged as serials or monographs all directories receive a subject heading for the geographic area subdivided by Directories. The genre term Directories is also given.

651   0 ‡a [geographic area] ‡v Directories.
655   7 ‡a Directories. ‡2 lcgft
651   0 ‡a San Francisco (Calif.) ‡v Directories.
655   7 ‡a Directories. ‡2 lcgft

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Little Magazines

Little magazines is a term used to designate certain magazines that have as their purpose the publication of art, literature, or social theory by comparatively little-known writers. Little magazines differ from the large commercial periodicals and major scholarly reviews by their emphasis on experimentation in writing, their perilous nonprofit operation, and their comparatively small audience of intellectuals. Prototypes of the twentieth-century little magazine were The Dial (Boston, 1840–44), a transcendentalist review edited by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller, and the English Savoy (1896), a manifesto in revolt against Victorian materialism.

Use the genre term Little magazines.

655   7 ‡a Little magazines. ‡2 rbgenr

Also trace the following reference source, if magazine is in the bibliography:

510   4 ‡a Hoffman, F.J. Little magazine (2nd ed.) ‡c [page no.]


A newspaper is defined by the International Organization for Standardization as: A serial publication which contains news on current events of special or general interest. The individual parts are listed chronologically or numerically and appear usually at least once a week. Newspapers usually have a masthead rather than a cover and are normally larger than A3 (297 mm x 420 mm) in size.

Newspapers are assigned the following tracings:

651   0 ‡a [geographic area] ‡v Newspapers.
655   7 ‡a Newspapers. ‡2 lcgft
752     ‡a [country] ‡b [state, province, or territory] ‡d [city].
651   0 ‡a San Francisco (Calif.) ‡v Newspapers.
655   7 ‡a Newspapers. ‡2 lcgft
752     ‡a United States ‡b California ‡d San Francisco.

American newspapers

American newspapers were formerly classed in the old Yale classification scheme of AN. Almost all of the American newspapers were either quarto or folio. Sometimes an issue or two can be added, but the Beinecke shelf must be checked. Folio newspapers new to Beinecke are classed in the Year/Number call number scheme. Quarto newspapers new to Beinecke are classed either in the Western Americana call number scheme or in the Year/Number call number scheme. A local subject is also made:

690   4 ‡a American newspapers ‡z [state] ‡z [city].
690   4 ‡a American newspapers‡z California ‡z Stockton.

English newspapers

Yale has an outstanding collection of 18th century English newspapers classed in Z17. Additions to a cataloged title should be given the Z17 number so that they will shelve with the rest of the set. New titles are assigned serial year/number call numbers.

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A periodical is defined as: A serial appearing or intended to appear indefinitely at regular or stated intervals, generally more frequently than annually, each issue of which normally contains separate articles, stories, or other writings. Use the genre/form term Periodocals for publications that do not have a specific subject. It is not necessary to use the genre/form term Periodicals if the form subdivision Peridoicals is present in a subject heading.

655   7 ‡a Periodicals. ‡2 lcgft


650     ‡a American poetry ‡v Periodicals.
655   7 ‡a Periodicals. ‡2 lcgft

Obsolete Practice

The local subject, Periodicals subdivided by place, was used for serials that did not have a specific subject and for newspapers.

690   4 ‡a Periodicals ‡z England.

Current Practice

The current practice is to make a distinction between periodicals and newspapers. When the obsolete pactice is encountered in cataloging, the 690 local subject tracing should be removed and a genre term for either newspapers or periodicals should be added.

690   4 ‡a Periodicals ‡z England.
655   7 ‡a Newspapers. ‡2 lcgft


655   7 ‡a Periodicals. ‡2 lcgft

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