Archive for the ‘Subject Headings’ Category

Tip #163: Local Notes & Subject Headings Reminder

Because bibliographic records are shared by all members of the consortium, information of a strictly local nature should never be included in an Evergreen record. This includes donor and memorial information, prices, book condition, purchase dates, local subject headings, and autographed copy information.

An alternative to adding local information to a bib record is to attach it to your library’s holding in the form of a copy note. Check your EI Cataloging Manual for information on how to add a copy note.

Special subject headings for Indiana authors, Indiana actors, Indiana musicians, etc. are permitted in Evergreen. Below are some examples:

650 _0 |a Authors |z Indiana.
650 _0 |a Musicians |z Indiana.
650 _0 |a Actors |z Indiana |z Ripley County.
650 _0 |a Artist |z Indiana |z Waveland.

If you find a local note or subject heading on an Evergreen record (often found in a 590 or 690 field), please delete it. If you can determine which library entered the local info, send a courtesy email advising what information was removed from the record in case the library wishes to add the information to their holding in a copy note.
Originally published on January 18, 2013.

Tip #122: BISAC & other subject headings found in Evergreen

As explained in the Procedures Guide, Evergreen catalogers are expected to add only Library of Congress subject headings to MARC records and not to remove any of the other types of controlled headings found in the records.

But what are these other types of subject headings that we find, especially that weird one that is in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS?

MARC records currently in Evergreen contain subject headings from other controlled vocabulary lists (called thesauri) such as Sears, the Library of Congress Subject Headings for Children, and BISAC.

The BISAC subject headings are relatively new and are easy to spot because they are in all capital letters and include a subfield 2 “bisacsh”. This is a classification scheme created for businesses by the Book Industry Study Group. Booksellers and a few libraries actually use these headings to organize and display books.

Here’s a few examples:

650 _7 |a BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Literary. |2 bisacsh
650 _7 |a SPORTS & RECREATION. |2 bisacsh
650 _7 |a COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS. |2 bisacsh

The Sears list of subject headings was created by fellow Hoosier Minnie Earl Sears and uses simpler, less technical terms that she thought would be preferred by smaller libraries.

Here’s some examples of Sears subject headings:

650 _7 |a Children’s parties. |2 sears
650 _7 |a Classical mythology. |2 sears
650 _7 |a Cooking |x Bananas. |2 sears

The Library of Congress Subject Headings for Children’s Literature or Annotated Card (AC) Headings generally use LCSH terms but sometimes substitute a more familiar or shortened version of the heading. They look like Library of Congress subject headings (LCSH) except that the second indicator is a 1 instead of a 0.

These are some LOC Subject Headings for Children:

650 _1 |a Frontier and pioneer life |z Montana.
650 _1 |a Imaginary playmates |v Fiction.
650 _1 |a Parties.

Occasionally found in Evergreen is the National Library of Medicine (NLM) subject headings. These are medical subject headings identified by a second indicator of 2. Subject headings from the MeSH thesauri are sometimes spotted on records for medical journals and reference material.

This is what MeSH headings look like:

650 12 |a Concept Formation |x physiology |x Infant.
650 12 |a Low Back Pain |x therapy.

Remember, if you spot these other types of subject headings, just leave them on the record. The keywords they contain may help a patron or staff member locate the resource. Before adding a new subject heading, make sure it’s a Library of Congress authorized heading by checking the LOC Authorities website.
Originally published on February 24, 2012.

Tip #116: Another tool for checking genre & subject headings

Here’s a good site to quickly see if a heading is valid: LC Linked Data Service: Authorities and Vocabularies.

You can check LCSH, LCGFT and/or Children’s Headings depending on which options you select.
Built headings can also be checked. Use a double dash between subfields. However, not all valid combinations are included in the database.

The disadvantage of this tool is that it does not display the coding and indicators. If you’re a beginner cataloger, you’ll probably prefer to continue using the main Library of Congress Authorities page.
Originally published on January 13, 2012.

Tip #113: Adding Subject Headings

Bibliographic records in Evergreen Indiana are required to have at least one established Library of Congress subject heading (LCSH).

Although it may be too time consuming for you to verify every subject heading on every record, Evergreen catalogers should familiarize themselves with commonly used LCSH headings and check those that don’t look quite ‘right’.

When adding subject headings, only use established Library of Congress subject headings. To determine if a subject heading is established, check for an authority file at the LOC website. Use search type “Subject Authority Headings”. Be sure to actually view the authority record, not just the headings list, to make sure the subject heading you want to use is in a 150 file in the record.
Never ‘guess’ or make up a subject heading. Local subject headings, like local notes, are not allowed in Evergreen Indiana.

One subject heading that is commonly used but incorrect is “Pop/Rock”. This is not an authorized subject heading, but is on numerous records for musical sound recordings. Instead, use “Popular music” and/or “Rock music”. If possible, add the appropriate decade in a subfield y.


650 _0 |a Rock music |y 1971-1980.
650 _0 |a Popular music |y 1951-1960.
650 _0 |a Christian rock music.

Originally published on December 9, 2011.

Tip #101: Adding local author/artist information to a MARC record

Patrons and staff sometimes want to find library materials of local interest. This includes books written by local authors or about local celebrities, as well as music and film featuring local actors and musicians.

Prior to joining Evergreen, many libraries made these materials easier to find by adding information in a 590 local note or a 690 local subject heading. However, use of these fields is prohibited in Evergreen Indiana.

So what can be added to a bibliographic record to enable patrons and staff to identify an item as being of local interest?

In Evergreen Indiana, catalogers may add 650 subject headings to identify materials about or featuring local artists, authors, musicians, and actors.

To do this, use the format shown in the following examples:

650 _0 |a Authors |z Indiana.
650 _0 |a Musicians |z Indiana.
650 _0 |a Actors |z Indiana.
650 _0 |a Authors |z Indiana |z Ripley County.
650 _0 |a Artists |z Indiana |z Bedford.

By adding this type of subject heading, staff and library users can do a subject or keyword search for “Indiana authors”, “Bedford artists”, etc. and locate the local interest materials they seek.
Originally published on September 16, 2011.

Tip #92: New coding for genre headings

The Library of Congress (LOC) has decided to separate subject headings from genre/form terms. The new list of genre/form terms is now referred to as the Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials.

Until May of this year [2011], both LOC genre/form terms and LOC subject headings were coded LCSH. If we used a subject or genre/form heading in a 6xx field, we used a 0 as the second indicator to identify the heading as being from the Library of Congress. Now that the two types of headings are separated, the genre/form headings can no longer be coded LCSH. Instead, Library of Congress genre/form terms must be coded LCGFT.

The new way to code LOC genre/form headings in a MARC record is: 655 _7 |a (genre/form heading). |2 lcgft The 7 in the second indicator slot means that the source of the heading is identified in subfield 2. Note there is a period following the genre/form term but none after the lcgft. In bibliographic records, genre/form terms are always contained in the 655 field.


655 _7 |a Graphic novels. |2 lcgft
655_7 |a Audiobooks. |2 lcgft
655 _7 |a Large type books. |2 lcgft
655 _7 |a Alternative rock music. |2 lcgft
655 _7 |a Love stores. |2 lcgft

Coding for LOC subject headings remains the same:

650 _0 |a (subject heading).

(You don’t need a subfield 2 because the 0 in the second indicator slot means the source is LCSH.)
Evergreen catalogers are required to use at least one Library of Congress subject heading (LCSH) in a bibliographic record. Genre/form headings are optional, but strongly encouraged. A list of Library of Congress Genre/Form Headings can be found at: .
Originally published on July 8, 2011.

Tip #46: LCSH Change for ‘Cookery’

Although it’s been posted on other listservs, some Evergreen catalogers may not be aware that last month the Library of Congress issued new and revised subject headings for materials on cooking and cookbooks.
The word “cookery” has been changed to “cooking” in about 800 subject headings. In addition, a topical subject heading of “Cookbooks” and a genre/form heading of “Cookbooks” have been approved.
This means that instead of “Cookery, Greek”, we should now use “Cooking, Greek” and instead of “Cookery (Kudzu)”, we should now use “Cooking (Kudzu)” in our subject headings. We can also add a subject or genre/form heading “Cookbooks”.
When editing or importing MARC records for cooking related resources into Evergreen, examine and correct the subject headings, if necessary. To look up authorized subject headings, go to the Library of Congress Authorities website. To understand your search results on that site, click the green “Help” button at the top of the page.

Note: The old “cookery” subject headings will still appear in the existing Evergreen records until a cataloger corrects them. This means that the Circulation Staff must continue to educate patrons to use the search term ‘cookery’ when looking for a cookbook.
Originally published on July 30, 2010.

Tip #44: Subject subdivision subfields v, x, y, and z

When adding subject headings to your resource, be sure to use the correct subfields. There are four subdivision subfields to choose from:

  • v : Form subdivision. Use v when describing the kind of material or genre of the resource. The most common subdivision subfield v is ‘Fiction’. It is usually the last subdivision subfield in a field.
    • 650 0 |a Actors |z United States |v Biography.
    • 651 0 |a North Carolina |v Guidebooks.
  • x : General subdivision. This is the subdivision subfield for general topical terms that narrow the scope of the subject heading. If your term explains what the resource is about, then it belongs in a subfield x.
    • 650 0 |a Men |x Health and hygiene.
  • y : Chronological subdivision. If your term narrows the scope of the subject heading by defining the time period, use y instead of x.
    • 651 0 |a Chicago (Ill.) |x History |y 19th century.
  • z : Geographic subdivision. Use z if the subdivision is a location.
    • 650 0 |a Search and rescue operations |z Bering Sea.

Caution: Not every date belongs in subdivision subfield y|:

  • If the date defines when a work was written, then it belongs in subfield v.
    • 600 00 |a Gautama Buddha |v Biography |v Early works to 1800.
  • If the date is used to define a specific event rather than narrow the scope of your resource, it also does not belong in subfield y.
    • 650 0 |a World War, 1939-1945 |x Research |v Fiction.

Note: Older MARC records may contain form subdivisions in a subfield x. When editing records in Evergreen, these should be changed to v.

Reminder: The first word in each subdivision is capitalized, and the last subdivision is followed by a period.
Originally published on July 16, 2010.

Tip #36: Adding Subject Headings

Evergreen Cat1 catalogers are required to use at least one established subject heading in all bibliographic records.

To satisfy this requirement, catalogers and not limited to the 650 field, but can add other 6xx fields such as a 600, 610, or 651.

Please use Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). One of the easiest ways to check for authorized headings is online at

Hint: If you are cataloging material that is available in another format or edition, you can often find subject headings for your item on one of those other records.

Please do not add local subject headings.

Here’s a quick description of the different 6xx fields you can use to satisfy the EI subject heading requirement:

Topical headings:

650 _0 |a Apples |x Harvesting.

Geographic headings:

651 _0 |a United States |x History |y French and Indian War, 1755-1763.

Personal names:

600 10 |a Horne, Lena.

Corporate names:

610 10 |a Indiana. |b Dept. of Child Services.

Originally published on May 14, 2010.

See Also


MARC Fields