Always consider the possibility of adding Library of Congress form/genre terms when cataloguing legal material. However, many legal materials will not have an applicable form or genre heading. Remember that the genre or form heading should reflect the overall content of the work, the 20% rule does not apply.

The list below is not comprehensive - check current authority records for relevant headings.


The notes below are intended to help cataloguers interpret some United States headings in a New Zealand context. It is important to be aware that New Zealand terminology may be different to United States terminology.

This is not a complete list, it only lists headings where some explanation is needed.


  • Use for New Zealand Regulations and other subordinate legislation. Caution: the work must be entirely this and not simply a part. Note, the Act should be under Statutes and Codes.
  • By-laws Do not use. See notes under Municipal ordinances.
  • Casebooks Use with caution. Must be a textbook focused primarily on case law, not a general term for textbooks.
  • Claims Use with caution. Must be for the actual text of the claim, rather than a resulting decision (i.e. do not use for Waitangi tribunal reports).
  • Commentaries (Civil law system) Do not use. New Zealand is a common law system, not a civil law system.
  • Hornbooks Do not use. This heading seems to be in common use in the United States for a particular series of study aids. The scope note suggests it could be used more widely. Advice is that New Zealand law professionals are unfamiliar with this term so NLNZ is choosing not to apply it. We will apply the subject form subdivision Textbooks where appropriate.
  • Law for laypersons Likely to be used commonly for easy lawbooks and guides intended for the public (i.e. not intended for professionals). Generally will be applied in conjunction with subject form subdivision Popular works.
  • Law materials Do not use. This heading is intended to direct people to the narrower terms, not to be used on individual works.
  • Municipal ordinances Should be used for New Zealand by-laws.
  • Statutes and Codes Use for New Zealand Acts. Caution: the work must be entirely this and not simply a part. Note, the regulations and other subordinate legislation should be under Administrative regulations.

Last updated: November 16, 2018 (JHS)

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