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.


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