Locating the Best Subject Heading, Page 1
The actual process of finding a subject heading term involves looking up the word that the cataloger determines to be the topic of the item in the appropriate LCSH volume. Each of the 5 volumes covers one part of the alphabet. This step is where the various abbreviations given earlier will help.
First of all, look up a term that describes the content of the item being cataloged, i.e. telephone service. When this phrase is looked up in LCSH, we find it listed in light colored type. This indicates that this phrase is NOT used by LCSH as a valid subject heading. Instead, below the phrase we are told USE Telephone, indicating that TELEPHONE is the valid subject heading term.
By going to the appropriate place for TELEPHONE in the alphabetical listings, we find out that this heading can have geographical subdivisions. We are also given a range of suggested Library of Congress call numbers, depending on whether the item deals with the economics or the technology of telephones. Letís examine part of the entry for this subject heading, to understand the information being given:
|Telephone (May Subd Geog)
UF Telephone service
BT Communication and traffic
Speech processing systems
NT Caller ID telephone service
Local loop (Telephony)
Local telephone service
Long distance telephone service
BT Telephone─Handbooks, manuals, etc.
─Apparatus and supplies
USE Telephone─Equipment and supplies
Looking through the entry for TELEPHONE, we find that there are two listings of synonyms that are not used as headings, Telephone service and Telephones. These are indicated by the UF.
Following these is a list of broader terms related to telephones. These are indicated by the BT and consist of valid subject headings that encompass telephones as well as other related information. These are listed to help the cataloger decide whether a broader approach to the topic might be better for a subject heading. For example, if the material deals with telephone service as a part of telecommunications, the broader heading of TELECOMMUNCATION might be a better choice.
After the list of broader terms is a list of narrower terms, indicated by a NT. These are to help the cataloger determine whether or not a more specific term might be suited to this work. Choices such as LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE SERVICE or TELEPHONE, WIRELESS might be more suitable for the content.
After the listing of broader and narrower terms comes a listing of suggested possible subdivisions. These are not the only subdivisions that can be used with this topic (see section on Free-floating Subdivisions), but these are some often used with this subject heading. These subdivisions are indicated by the use of a long dash (─) at the beginning of each subdivision. These subdivisions may also have UF, BT, and NT listed under them, to help steer the cataloger to the best possible choices. Valid subdivisions are listed in bold type, and synonyms not used are in lighter type with a USE note leading to the correct subdivision term.
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