Report of the
AALL Representative to the American Library Association
Association for Library Collection and Technical Services
Cataloging and Classification Section
Subject Analysis Committee (SAC)
Midwinter Meeting, Denver, January 2009
Annual Meeting, Chicago, July 2009
Fordham Law School Library
ymandelstam [at] law.fordham.edu
The Subject Analysis Committee studies problems and recommends improvements in patterns, methods, and tools for the subject analysis, organization, and retrieval of information resources, and provides liaison for those areas of interest between CCS and other ALA and non-ALA organizations that have an interest in and concern for these activities.
Currently SAC has liaisons from the Program of Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), MARBI, the Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division (PSD), the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), the Art Libraries Society of North America (RLIS/NA), the Music Library Association (MLA), the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), the Sears List of Subject Headings, the LC Decimal Classification Division, the Dewey Classification and OCLC Dewey Services, and the Dewey Classification Editorial Policy Committee.
Following is a summary of SAC activities and highlights from the Library of Congress reports.
Subcommittee on Genre/Form Implementation
The subcommittee acts as a facilitator of two-way communication between the Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division (PSD) and the cataloging communities with interest in genre/form headings.
In its ALA Midwinter and Annual meetings, the subcommittee heard progress reports on genre/form projects from the Library of Congress, the Music Library Association, and the American Association of Law Libraries. At ALA Annual, the subcommittee approved a short list of general terms useful for law collections provided by the AALL Law Genre/Form liaison. Members of the subcommittee also decided to send a proposal to PSD regarding the creation of a list of genre/form terms used across disciplines, based on LCSH 185 form subdivisions.
The subcommittee is planning to synthesize the comments posted on the group's Listserv (http://lists.ala.org/sympa/arc/form-genre), and formulate recommendations to PSD regarding various genre/form-related issues. The first to be addressed is the issue of subdividing genre/form headings by place, language, etc. Alternatives to subdivisions will also be considered (e.g., use of 655 $8 – Genre/Form Term–Field link and sequence number).
Subcommittee on FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology)
FAST—a subject vocabulary derived from LCSH—was developed by OCLC in cooperation with the Library of Congress. The subcommittee on FAST continued to refine and expand the FAST manual and explore issues related to FAST implementation.
As of July 2009, the FAST authority file contained 1,629,309 terms for topics, forms, personal and corporate names, geographic names, events, periods, and uniform titles. The latest versions of the FAST database and the FAST manual are available at http://fast.oclc.org.
Highlights from reports submitted by Janis Young, the Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division (PSD).
The full LC at ALA report is available at http://www.loc.gov/ala.
- Genre/Form Headings. For general information about genre/form headings and LCSH at the Library of Congress, including a Genre/Form Frequently Asked Questions PDF document as well as a full timeline, visit http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/genreformgeneral.html. The following announcements and documents have recently been added to the site: Genre/Form Headings for Musical Works; SACO Proposals for Moving Image and Radio Program Genre/Form Headings); Genre/Form Headings for Cartographic Materials; Proposed Change to the Structure of LCSH Subdivisions Used for Cartographic Materials Discussion Paper; and Disposition of Video Recording Headings in the New Genre/Form Environment Discussion Paper.
- Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) 31st edition. Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) 31st edition is available at the end of June 2009. Because there has been no edition of LCSH published since 2007, this edition will include approximately 17,000 new and 16,000 changed subject headings made since January 2007. LCSH 31st edition will be enlarged to six volumes. The new, sixth volume, LCSH Supplementary Vocabularies, will include free-floating subdivisions, genre/form headings, and children's subject headings. LCSH 31 is available for $295 in North America and $345 outside North America. Copies may be ordered at www.loc.gov/cds/contact.html.
- Subject Headings Manual. Formerly known as the Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings, the 2008 edition of the manual was published under the title Subject Headings Manual. This new edition consolidates the previous updates and complements the Classification and Shelflisting Manual, published in May 2008.
- Subject Headings Projects. PSD has recently undertaken several short-term projects to update subject headings and references, to bring them into alignment with current standards as defined by the Subject Headings Manual, or to modify outdated language. Some examples are:
- Headings with inverted religious qualifiers are being revised to natural-language forms (e.g., Cave temples, Buddhist was updated to Buddhist cave temples)
- Headings for types of insurance and bridges were revised to appear in direct form (e.g., Insurance, Automobile became Automobile insurance and Bridges, Concrete became Concrete bridges)
- Alien labor was updated to Foreign workers
- Transcaucasia was updated to South Caucasia, the current terms; all uses of the phrase "Transcaucasian" was updated to "South Caucasian"
- The headings for Kosovo and all related headings were updated when Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in early 2008
- PSD worked with the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) on a project to assist catalogers in determining whether individual headings are inherently legal. AALL provided the Division with lists of headings that its members determined to be inherently legal; the Division vetted the lists and added a reference from topic subdivided by –Law and legislation where appropriate (e.g., Abuse of rights–Law and legislation SEE Abuse of rights)
In each case, all related records were also updated.
The headings for the U.S. Census were also modified to remove the census number (e.g., United States–Census, 1st, 1790 was updated to United States–Census, 1790). This change brings the treatment of the U.S. Census into agreements with the treatment of other census.
A broader term in the form [War]–Campaigns–[Place] is now being added to headings for bombardments that occur as part of wars. The existing headings were updated.
PSD and the British Library have undertaken a project to standardize the plural qualifiers in headings for classes of locomotives, and to update the broader terms so they reflect the specific type of locomotive (steam, diesel, etc.) instead of the more general Locomotives.
- Library of Congress Classification. Available from the Cataloging Distribution Service are new print 2009 editions of K (Law in General. Comparative and Uniform Law. Jurisprudence), T (Technology), and Z (Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources).
- Drafts of KBS and KBT. Drafts of the newly developed subclasses KBS (Canon Law of Eastern Churches) and KBT (Canon Law of Eastern Rite Churches in Communion with the Holy See of Rome), have been posted for an extended trial period for cataloging and collection staff at the Library of Congress and at other institutions. Users of these drafts should note the substantial revisions and restructuring in overlap areas with the older classes KBR and KBU, as well as with subclasses BR (Christianity) and BX (Christian Denominations), in the Religion schedule. The drafts are available in the form of PDF files at http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/KBS-KBT.html.
- Cyrillic forms in LCC subclass PG. Cyrillic forms are in the process of being added to captions in subclass PG for individual literary authors and titles of belletristic works written in Cyrillic script. In addition, authors’ death dates are being added to many of these captions.
- Cataloger's Desktop. "Desktop 3.0" – A major modernization of the product to enhance searching and navigation will be completed after the ALA annual meeting. Visit www.loc.gov/cds/desktop for the latest news. This online cataloging and metadata documentation service now features more than 280 resources, as well as Spanish-, French-, and German-language interfaces.
- LC Authorities and Vocabularies service. The Library of Congress has opened its id.loc.gov Webservice, "Authorities and Vocabularies", with the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) as the initial offering. The primary goal of this service is to enable machines to programmatically access data at the Library of Congress, but the Webinterface also provides simple access for human users. This service is a step toward exposing and interconnecting vocabulary and thesaurus data at no cost via URLs. For LCSH, terms have been linked to a similar service provided in Europe for RAMEAU, a French subject heading vocabulary closely coordinated with LCSH. The Library is interested in feedback on the uses and usefulness of the service to inform ways that we might enhance it. (There is a comment form at the site.) Over the next few months the service will be expanding to include other vocabularies commonly found in standards that the Library supports such as the Thesaurus of Graphic Materials; geographic area, language, and relator codes; and preservation events and roles. The site is accessible at http://id.loc.gov.
- Cataloging Service Bulletin Back Issues. All issues (1-123, summer 1978-spring 2009) of Cataloging Service Bulletin (CSB) are now available at no cost at http://www.loc.gov/cds/PDFdownloads/csb. The entire 31 years of CSB are made available by LC as a free service to the worldwide library community. The issues are also available and searchable in Cataloger's Desktop.
- Virtual International Authority File (VIAF). At the end of 2008, the Library of Congress, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and OCLC signed a new agreement to add the National Library of Sweden as the next partner to the VIAF. Since then, the National Library of the Czech Republic, the National Library of Israel, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Egypt), the Vatican Library, the National Library of Portugal, and the National Library of Spain have formally been added. An additional 10 institutions have submitted applications and are expected to be added during 2009. VIAF is a service that matches and links the world’s large personal name authority files. The beta version currently includes more than 10.4 million personal name authority records, accessible at www.viaf.org. During 2008 VIAF expanded to include non-Latin characters. Future plans are to expand to geographic names, corporate names, and uniform titles.