L'opera artistica come intestazione di soggetto

Silvia Bonfietti
Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia, Università degli Studi di Firenze
June, 2005


The topic of the present study is the analysis of a special kind of subject heading: the one representing a single work, as a particular case of the generic class of the name headings as subject. This is a choice consistent to the future perspective - already actual is some of the European and USA catalogues, of integrating the indexing terms and the authority records for authors and titles in one single archive.
Our study has been specifically focused on the "artistic work" as subject heading, whose reference standard, differently from the "literary work" as subject heading, is not uniformly treated in the indexing instruments neither the proposed solutions are homogeneous.
Moreover, differently from what happens for the “literary work” as subject heading, the “artistic work” as subject heading rarely have a corresponding standard in cataloguing by authors and titles to refer to.
The entities of the kind "artistic work" analysed are the products of the figurative arts, of architecture and show, with the exception of the music operas.
The main part of the study concerns the analysis of some of the most recently edited Italian and international indexing tools. Whenever a precise coding for any kind of entity was lacking, the praxis witnessed in the national bibliography and in the national libraries’ OPAC has been adopted. Specifically, we tried to integrate the written and not yet written rules determining in the different countries the form for the “work” as subject heading, stressing the peculiarities and the differences that make a distinction in the different indexing tools as well as in the various kinds of works.
The analysed indexing tools are: the Soggettario per i cataloghi delle Biblioteche italiane (1956), and the following updates (1977 and 1999) and the most recent Guida all’indicizzazione per soggetto (Guida GRIS) (2001), for Italy; Encabezamientos de materia, normativa para su redacción (1991) for Spain; Subject cataloguing manual: subject headings (1996) for Unites States of America; Regeln für den Schlagwortkatalog (RSWK) (1998), for Germany; SIPORBASE: sistema de indexação em português: manual (1998), for Portugal; Guide d'indexation RAMEAU (2004), for France.