Past Activities



This project was completed in 2010.

In September 2007, the Library of Congress began issuing authority records for genre/form headings (MARC21 field 155). The first authority records are for terms in the areas of music and moving images, followed by law. The law terms are being prepared by the members of this Working Group (CSCP) in coordination with the Library of Congress.

The Working Group released a draft of Genre/Form Terms for Law Materials in July 2009. It was adapted from Genre terms for law materials: a thesaurus, compiled by William Benemann (Buffalo, N.Y.: William S. Hein & Co., 2006); some terms were changed, removed, or added to the original list. After receiving comments from the law community, the working group made revisions to the list and in October 2009 the final list was approved by the TS-SIS Cataloging & Classification Committee and submitted to the Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division. In the year that followed the Law Genre/Form Editorial Group and the LC Policy and Standards Division (PSD) worked together to ensure that the terms fit into the structure of Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT), and in October 2010 LC officially announced the integration of the Genre/Form Terms for Law Materials into its thesaurus (revised February 14, 2013 to exclude non-law terms that have not yet been established by LC).


This project was completed in 2008.


Yael Mandelstam
Fordham Law School Library

The Project thanks the Duquesne Center for Legal Information and Amy Lovell for developing and hosting this website from 2004-2009.

The purpose of the Inherently Legal Subject Headings Project, 2004-2008, was to submit proposals to the Library of Congress (LC) for adding “Law and legislation” see references to legal headings included in the Library of Congress Subject Headings thesaurus (LCSH). Adding see references helps clarify the inherently legal status of these headings, decreases at least some of the misuses of “Law and legislation” in our shared bibliographic databases, and facilitates more effective automatic validation of headings.

An existing example of a “Law and legislation” see reference can be seen in the authority record for Copyright:

010 sh 85032446
150 Copyright
450 Copyright $x Law and legislation

A look at our shared bibliographic databases show that “obviously legal” headings like Law, Regulation, and Jurisprudence are usually correctly identified as legal and are therefore appropriately used. On the other hand, headings like Human rights, Bankruptcy, and Property are often identified as non-legal and are incorrectly assigned “Law and legislation” subdivisions.

NOTE: This type of error is twofold: catalogers identify certain legal headings as non legal, and they use “Law and legislation” as a free floating subdivision,

Unless established by LC, “Law and legislation” is authorized to be used as a subdivision only when controlled by specific pattern headings. For the correct use of “Law and legislation” subdivision, see Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings (SCM:SH), H1705 (Legal materials: Law and Legislation and Other Subdivisions) and H1145-H1200 (Subdivisions Controlled by Pattern Headings).

The ILSH Project was created to:

  • compile a list of legal subject headings;
  • identify legal headings that warrant “Law and legislation” see references; and
  • submit proposals to the Library of Congress for adding “Law and legislation” see references to the authority records of the identified headings.


The ILSH project was conceived at the 2004 AALL annual meeting in Boston, during the TS-SIS Cataloging & Classification Roundtable.The website was created and maintained from 2004-2009 by Amy Lovell, Manager of Database Systems at Duquesne University Center for Legal Information.

The project was divided into two stages:

Stage #1 (completed December 2005)

Participants combed through the Library of Congress Subject Headings (also known as The Big Red Books), in search of legal subject headings. Once found, participants posted the legal headings on the project website.

NOTE: The following were excluded from the A-Z list:

  1. Headings containing certain “obviously legal” words (and their various permutations) that are used in multiple legal headings (e.g. law, jurisprudence, trials).
  2. Headings that already had “Law and legislation” see references in the authority records.

Stage #2 (completed October 2008)

A task force was created to examine the compiled legal headings, identify those that warrant “Law and legislation” seereferences, and submit proposals to LC for adding the references to the authority records.

Revised: 5/9/2005, 6/7/2005, 1/11/2006, 2/9/2006, 5/20/2006, 2/19/2007, 1/4/2008, 8/18/2008, 9/7/2009


This project was completed in 2007.

TS-SIS Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee members, and interested others, are asked to read the following documents carefully prior to the Cataloging and Classification Standing Committee meeting in New Orleans on Monday, July 16, 2007 at 8:45 a.m. At that meeting, there will be a brief discussion of these documents and a vote of Committee members will be taken on this proposal. Please bring your own copy of these documents to the meeting.

  1. KF1 Form Table Letter to AALL (42 KB PDF)
  2. KF1 Form January 2007 Draft 1 (74 KB PDF)
  3. KF1 Form Table Comments (36 KB PDF)