Marie E. Whited
Lillian Goldman Library at Yale LawSchool
The ALA ALCTS/CCS Subject Analysis Committee and its subcommittees held several meetings during the February and June ALA meetings. A number of reports were given by Library of Congress staff and by subcommittee chairs. SAC sponsored an institute on subject headings for electronic resources and a panel on form genre headings at the Annual Meeting.
At the February meeting, letters from Beacher Wiggins, then Library of Congress Acting Director for Cataloging, addressed issues raised by SAC concerning subject subdivision order. He agreed with SAC that changing the order of certain subdivision strings would result in changing the meaning of the strings and hence the order of subdivision string proposals could not be adopted across the board. LC will continue to use MARC subfield x for subdivisions that represent first order political subdivisions of countries, e.g., xStates. Practice where topical subdivisions are not subdivided geographically because they are used as free-floating subdivisions under geographic areas will be better documented. LC will continue to review free- floating subdivisions in order to determine if the subdivisions should be subdivided by place. The Five-Year Progress Report on Subject Subdivisions Conference Recommendations has been posted to LC MARVEL.
During the February meeting, Lynn El-Hoshy of LC's Cataloging Policy and Support Office (CPSO) reported on subject cataloging developments at LC. The fifth edition of the Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings has been published in four volumes with a glossary. Many of the memos have been expanded and examples are given with USMARC content designation. Form subdivisions are identified by diamonds in the margin of the free-floating subdivision list. CPSO has been replacing subjects containing the word "man" with gender neutral terms. The subdivision --Rates and tables has been replaced by the two subdivisions --Rates and --Tables. AALL's recommendations concerning changes to the headings Constitutions and Constitutional law were accepted by LC. The instructions for these terms will be published in 1997 Update No. 1 to SCM: Subject Headings. The subdivision --Proclamations was canceled and the subject heading Proclamations may now be subdivided geographically. Subdivision --Manufactures has been replaced by Manufactures (May Subd. Geog.) and Manufacturing industries (May Subd. Geog.) She also reported that LC has decided to relax the practice of assigning alternative numbers to titles within a classed together set by allowing an alternative number not to be given if classification development work is needed for the alternative number and by allowing the catalogers to omit the alternative number if too much work would be involved.
At the June 29 SAC meeting Lynn El-Hoshy gave another update on subject cataloging. LC has a new thesauri homepage at http://lcweb.loc.gov/lexico but it doesn't contain LCSH yet. The CPSO homepage is at http://lcweb.loc.gov/catdir/cpso. It provides links to the weekly subject heading lists and to with various documentation and announcements. The 20th edition of LCSH and the first update to the Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings is available. LC is working on its internal authority systems to get the systems to accept MARC tag 155 field for form/genre subject authority headings, MARC subfield v for form subdivisions, and MARC tag 18x fields for subdivision authority records. It is still expected that the computer files cataloging team will be the first at LC to use MARC tag 655 and MARC subfield v in its cataloging records. LC is reviewing the memo on the subdivision --History with a view giving better explanations of when and how to use this subdivision. Changes are being made regarding headings with the preposition "in" to express portrayal of persons, bodies, places and topics in various media. (...) in the press has been replaced by the free-floating subdivision --Press coverage. Israel-Arab conflicts is being replaced by Arab-Israeli conflict with four chronological subdivisions. Leaks (Disclosure of information) and Term limits (Public office) have been established.
Thirteen schedules have been placed in Classification Plus. KZ and JZ are done. An updated edition of J is due in late 1997. Ukraine has been moved to the European law schedule and given the class letters KKY.
Much of the SAC work takes place at the subcommittee level. The Computer Files Subcommittee was notified that computer file catalogers at LC will begin using form/genre headings and subdivisions as an experiment once the subdivision authority records have been created. A list of SCM: Subject Cataloging memos concerning computer files was distributed. They include Databases H1520, Electronic serials H1580.5, Software H2070, Establishing certain entities...H405, Free floating subdivisions H1095, Visual materials H2230. Classification is covered in SCM: Classification F710.
The Subcommittee on Subject Authority File Recommendations has been investigating ways of recording the history of subject heading changes and ways of allowing automatic validation of heading subdivision strings via authority records and coding. Various proposals include requiring MARC tags, 4xx and 5xx, to track relationships between current and deleted headings whenever possible and requiring subjects deleted in favor of names being retained as reference records. In the final report in June, the Subcommittee reported that USMARC currently has adequate coding for recording the history of subject heading changes and that earlier forms of subject headings should entered be in a 4xx MARC field. If the earlier heading does not have a one to one relationship with the new heading, then a reference record should be made. They also made recommendations for automatic validation of headings.
The Subcommittee on Form Headings/Subdivisions Implementation sponsored a panel June 28 at ALA. Work is proceeding at LC regarding the implementation of MARC subfield v and MARC tag 655 for form/genre. Tom Yee of LC's CPSO reported on LC developments. MARC tag 155 authority records for form headings and MARC tag 18x records for free floating subdivisions will eventually be created. Currently, LC is identifying form and topical subdivisions in preparation for the authority record creation. Changes and file maintenance will be postponed until LC has an integrated library system. At the June meeting Mr. Yee reported that LC hopes to begin using subfield v in spring 1998. After the computer files catalogers have started using the 655 headings, other subjects where form access is especially important will be phased into the creation and use of these headings. LC will continue to disseminate information on this topic.
SAC has formed new subcommittees to study Metadata and subject analysis. The SAC panel for 1998 ALA will be on subject access systems.