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Forms and Guidelines

Subject Authority Cooperative Program (SACO) Guidelines.  SACO participation guidelines, 1999-2004.


LC Subject Headings Proposal Online Form (SACO)
Password required: Form to submit
SACO proposal online.
  • If you need to add a field, highlight a field with the radio button. The field will be added above. Use the drop down to select the field tag you need.
  • You need to email at the end, so just �Save� so you can get the sp##.
  • Email to:
    SACO proposal ready for review
    1xx field
  • You can create a record and then come back later and fix it. Once you send the email, however, you need to email SACO that you need another change.
  • Those who enter an email address should receive an e-mail notification with the scheduling announcement. Automated e-mail messages are normally sent out when a tentative monthly list is "Published" and made available on the SACO website


LC Subject Authority Proposal form guidelines:

See also Additional Notes (document below)

Annotated Subject Authority Proposal Form : with references to Subject Cataloging Manual (SCM) memos: catdir/pcc/ saco/sacoexample.html Annotated Subject Authority Proposal Form for Geographics : with references to Subject Cataloging Manual (SCM) memos: saco/sacogeoex.html


LCSH Subject Change Proposal form Form to submit SACO change proposal online.


LC Subject Heading Change Guidelines LC's guidelines Additional guidelines (CFL) -- see below

SACO Workshop : How to Propose Subject Headings for LCSH

Excerpts from SACO Workshop : How to Propose Subject Headings for LCSH. A training session by the Library of Congress at ALA, June 1999.



SACO participant:

Searches both the subject authority and name authority files to make sure that the subject is not already covered by existing headings or references

Checks FFS:-AM or SCM.-SH to verify that the topic is not covered by an existing heading-free-floating subdivision combination; checks H 405 for named entities

Searches bibliographic files to see subject headings assigned to similar works

Verifies the concept in reference sources (670, 675);

Decides form of heading (IXX)

Determines the cross reference structure by consulting sources and LCSH (4xx, 5xx)

Completes a subject authority proposal form and sends it to LC (


1. The purpose of doing authority research and listing the sources consulted in the 670 (Sources found) and 675 (Sources not found) fields of the subject authority record is to demonstrate the form(s) in which the terms that are proposed as the heading and UF references are found in existing literature, or to document the fact that no citation to the term can be found in likely sources other than the work being cataloged.

2. It is usually not acceptable to cite only the work cataloged as authority for a new concept. It is necessary to seek corroboration or verification of the term in other sources. Any individual work may or may not be accurate, may or may not be authoritative, or may or may not present or advocate a particular point of view.

3. Although the concept may be found only in the work being cataloged, other sources appropriate to the subject area in question should be cited to demonstrate that the concept was properly investigated. There may be some situations, for example, with an individual archeological site or computer language, where the only information may be in the work being cataloged. In those cases, it is helpful to cite explanatory information from the work.

4. Preference is given to reference sources like dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes, and thesauri. Finding usage in titles in databases like the LC database or OCLC's World Cat may demonstrate that a particular term is in use but does not necessarily indicate that it is the best or predominate way of referring to a topic. Checking for usage in titles is a good means of finding variant terminology for UF references.

5. General dictionaries like Webster's Third and/or Random House should be checked for all general topics. Appropriate sources should be checked for special topics, like MESH and Dorland's medical dictionary for medical terms, AAT for art, N,4S,4 Thesaurus for astronautics, chemistry dictionaries for chemicals, etc.

6. How much authority work is sufficient will vary with the topic and what is found in reference sources. If conflicting information is found in the first two sources checked, further sources may need to be checked in search of a "tiebreaker." It is sometimes necessary to weigh the information found in various sources and to determine which source is more authoritative or current. If the information found in the work cataloged is confirmed in an authoritative source, that is probably all that is needed in most cases.


SACO does not require exhaustive research. The goal is subject authority research that is good enough to indicate a consensus of usage in relevant sources.




The LC name authority file or national authority file contains headings for personal names and corporate bodies that are capable of authorship and needed for descriptive access points bibliographic records as well as headings for uniform titles. It contains headings of the following MARC tags and types:

Tag Type Example
100 Personal names Clinton, bill, 1946- ; Burns, Robert, 1759-1796
110 Corporate bodies Commonwealth (Organization); World Health ORganization; Titanic (Steamship)
111 Conferences (Including organized events) Subject Subdivisions Conference (1991 : Arlie, Va.); Canada Games
130 Uniform titles European treaty series; Book of Kells; Nutcracker (Choreographic work)
151 Jurisdictions Edinburgh (Scotland); Baja California; Sur (Mexico)

There are no headings tagged 150 in the name authority file.

Subject usage. With certain stated and noted exceptions, entities established in the name authority file may be used as subject headings. Because of the Latest name policy for jurisdictions, one exception is that headings for earlier names of jurisdictions that have changed their names may not be used as subjects. Therefore, LC uses Saint Petersburg (Russia) not Leningrad (R. S.F. S.R.); Sri Lanka not Ceylon; Hong Kong (China) not Hong Kong. ,

Duplicate authority records. At one time, authority records for name headings were routinely included in LCSH if they were designated as pattern headings, for example, Harvard University; if they were needed for the reference structure of another subject heading; or if it was necessary to establish a non-free-floating subdivision for use with them, for example, Great Britain. Parliament--University representation.

Authority records for most countries were included in LCSH in order to establish the chronological subdivisions that represent the significant date spans in their history, for example, Scotland--History-Mary Stuart, 1542-1567.

LC no longer creates duplicate subject authority records for name headings.

Notes: Computer files were subjects but are now treated as titles. They are only qualified when used as a subject or as a referent.

Notes: events that are planned in advance and are recurring are in the names file.

Notes: Combination of name heading and non-free-floating subdivision, must be established as a subject heading.



The subject authority file contains primarily headings with the MARC21 tag 150 for topical headings. This tag encompasses a wide array of concepts and phenomena as well as headings proper-named entities that are not capable of authorship and are needed for subject rather than descriptive access points. In cases of doubt, check H 405 ("Division of the world")

Tag Type Example
150 Concepts, phenomena, and processes Jet lag; Computer literacy; Elections; Logic programming; Rain and rainfall
150 Disciplines and field of learning Biology; Sociobiology; Astrology
150 Types of organizations and industries Legislative bodies; National libraries; Service industries; Whiskey industry
150 Types of objects and structures, including branded merchandise Laptop computers; Oil well drilling rigs; BLMC automobiles; Coca Cola (Trademark)
150 Classes of persons and ethnic groups Teachers; French; Malays (Asian people)
150 Proper names for chemicals, materials, substances, organisms, breeds, etc. Carbon dioxide; Aspirin; Wool; Drosophila; Camellias; Jersey cattle
150 Names of languages including artificial and computer languages Swahili language; Esparanto; COBOL (Computer program language)
150 Types of publications and literary, artistic, and music form headings Concordances; Didactic fiction; Sculpture; Photography; Artistic; Concertos
150 Holidays and commemorations Cinco de Mayo (Mexican holiday)
150 Events, disasters, wars, battles Pan Am Flight 103 Bombing Incident, 1988; West Point (Ga.), Battle of, 1965
150 Deities; mythological, legendary, or fictitious characters; legendary or imaginary places Amon (Egyptian deity); Loch Ness monster; Mickey Mouse (Fictitious character); Shangri-La (Imaginary place)
150 Named animals Clever Hans (Horse); Buddy (Dog); Socks (Cat)
150 Eponyms Murphy's law; Spoonerisms
150 Named tests Myers-Briggs
150 Named structures and other non-corporate named entities Big Ben (Tower clock); Washington Monument (Washington, D.C.)

Notes: Subjects are things not capable of authorship.

Notes: For names, "foot on the ground rule" - if they walked, they are a name; otherwise they are subject

Notes: Fictitious character appearing in 3 or more works is a subject



LCSH also contains headings with other MARC21 tags:

Tag Nonjurisdictional geographics
151 North Sea Gulf Stream
151 Scotland Bay (Trinidad and Tobago) Martha's Vineyard (Mass.)
151 Matterhorn (Switzerland and Italy) Asia, Southeastern Sahel
151 Commonwealth countries
151 Reserva de la Biosfera de Mapimi (Mexico)
151 Fengate Site (England)
151 Troy (Extinct city)
151 Milky Way Hale-Bopp comet
151 Tay Road Bridge (Dundee, Scotland)
Tag Type Example
100 Family names; royal houses, and dynasties Higginbotham family; Windsor, House of
110 Named buildings, structures, etc. White House (Washington, D.C.); Chateau de Versailles (Versailles, France); Balmoral Castle (Scotland)
There are no headings tagged 111 for conferences or 130 for uniform titles whose authority resides solely in LCSH. Any headings with those tags that are included in LCSH are duplicates from the name authority file or borrowed headings with non-free-floating subdivisions.






To achieve good practice in assigning and proposing headings, it is important to understand the principles involved in formulating subject headings.

Charles Ammi Cutter's purposes:

  1. To enable a person to find a book of which the subject is known
  2. To show what the library has on a given subject


These purposes are achieved in LCSH through the use of a uniform heading. A subject is represented by one heading so that materials that are about that topic and that use variant terminology can be uniformly described and retrieved together.

Subject heading: Compulsive shopping

Titles: Shopaholics: serious help for addicted shoppers Overcoming overspending : a winning plan for spenders ... Consuming passion : help for compulsive shoppers Born to spend: how to overcome compulsive spending Women who shop too much : overcoming the urge to splurge

User principle. Terms are chosen on the basis of what is standard in current American English language usage. Preference is given to terminology and expressions that are in general use over technical terms or jargon when there is a choice.

Specificity. The principle of specificity is followed. Terms that are coextensive with the subject rather than broader or more generic ten-ns are used unless a specific term is deemed too narrow.

Consistency. Whenever feasible, attempts are made to maintain consistency in form and structure among similar headings through the use of recurring patterns.

Change. The system is dynamic. Changes to headings are made continuously to maintain the currency and viability of the list. For any change, the benefit of making it is weighed against its impact on the authority and bibliographic databases and the resources needed to carry it out.


Type Subtype Example
Simple nouns   Dogs; Terriers; Puppies
Nouns with adjectives   Working dogs; Wild dogs; Hearing ear dogs
Phrases with prepositions   Photography of dogs Dogs as laboratory animals; Dogma; Development of Radio in health education; Kirking of the tartans


Community health services for the aged; Income tax deductions for home office expenses
    Names carved on trees; Infants switched at birth; Right turn on red; Monkeys as aids for the handicapped
Compounds for:    
  relationships Children and animals; Parent and child
  topics treated together Horsemen and horsewomen; Bolts and nuts
  explanation Files and rasps
With qualifiers to:    
  distinguish homonymns Seals (Animals)
  remove ambiguity Day reporting centers (Correction)
  indicate proper names Phar Lap (Race horse); Java (Computer program language); Maori (New Zealand people)
Direct entry vs. Kennels; Dog shows
  subdivision Dogs--Housing; Dogs--Showing
  inversion Cookery, Vietnamese; Science, Ancient; Canis, Fossil


In order to be useful, an alphabetic subject heading list needs to have a generous entry vocabulary to link terms searchers might use with the authorized forms of the fist as well as a structure of explicit relationships to allow users to navigate through the system. These purposes are served by references that express equivalence, hierarchical, and associative relationships.

History. Like the headings themselves, references were made in LCSH at different times according to different philosophies and principles. Early on, some specific to general references were made. For many years references were made on the basis that a person investigating one heading should be made aware of another heading. References were rarely revised as new headings were added. In addition, many headings appeared in LCSH without references. In 1984, new rules for making references were adopted and incorporated into the Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings, and then applied to new headings beginning in 1985.

Notation. With the adoption of the new, more hierarchically rigorous rules for making references, the decision was made to use the standard symbols employed by thesauri for indicating relationships. When the file of subject headings was converted to the USNL4,RC format in early 1986, the old symbols were mechanically replaced by the new ones. Under a heading, the print program that produces LCSH substituted:

USE for See

UF for x (see from)

BT for xx (see also from)

NT for sa (see also)

RT for terms that appeared both in the xx and sa listings under a heading.

Reference evaluation.Although the resulting reference structure appeared more rigorous and "thesaurus-like," the actual references did not necessarily fit their labeled categories. For this reason, at the time of conversion of the files, byte 29 of the 008 field of the MARC21 format was set to code "b" for not evaluated or "n" for no references. The references for headings established since the conversion of the file do conform to the rules and are coded as "a" for evaluated. References for older headings are reviewed and evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


Equivalence or USE/UF (Used for)references link terms that are non-preferred and not authorized to their preferred and authorized forms. The notation in LCSHis USE and UF

Baby sitting Babysitting

USE Babysitting UF Baby sitting

UF references are covered in H 373 of the Subject Cataloging Manual. Subject Headings. UF references are carried in subject authority records in fields tagged 4XX. USE references are generated by program or system. The categories of UG references made are:

1. synonyms and near synonyms:


UF Cafes

Dining establishments

2. variant spellings:


UF Haematology

3. variant forms of expression:

Nonbank financial institutions

UF Nonbank banks


4. alternate arrangements of terms:

Dog breeds

5. earlier forms of headings:


UF Restaurants, lunch rooms, etc. [Former heading]

Earlier forms of headings: Since 1988, earlier forms of headings have been explicitly coded as nnen in the $w control subfield of 4XX fields. Coded earlier form of heading references were added to headings changed between 1976 and 1988 as a project. In LCSH, the earlier references are signalled by the notation: [Former heading].


Broader Term and Narrower Term References link headings and allow users to enter at any level and be led step by step to the next level of either more specific or more general topics. The following instruction sheets in the Subject Cataloging Manual. Subject Headings cover these references:

H 370 Broader Terms, Narrower Terms, and Related Terms

H 371 General See Also References

H 375 [Topic]--[Place] Broader Term References

Notation. BT stands for Broader Term and NT for its reciprocal, Narrower Term

Subfield coding. In online records, broader terms are coded as "g" in the $w control subfield of 5XX fields. Records contain only broader term references. LC does not use code "h" for narrower term references. The reciprocal narrower term references that appear in displays in the printed, microfiche, and CD-ROM versions of LCSH are system or program generated.

Three types of relationships are indicated by BT/NT references:

1. Genus/species (or class/class member): Dog breeds Poodles NT Poodles BT Dog breeds


2. Whole/part:


Foot Toes NT Toes BT Foot 3. Instance (or generic topic/proper-named example): Mississippi River Rivers--United States


Rivers--United States NT Mississippi River

Next level. A heading is now linked only to the heading immediately above it in a hierarchy. Bilevel references remain in headings with unevaluated references as remnants of past practice.

Compound headings. Because the complex compound headings present in LCSH do not necessarily fit into these hierarchical categories, rules were also adopted for linking compound headings on the basis of the terms they contain. The resulting BT/NT relationships are often more arbitrary than would be allowed in a true thesaurus.

Related term or RT references link headings that have 3 associative relationships and are coded as "n" in the "w" control subfield. They are made sparingly situations outlined in H 370.


General see also references

These may be found in 360 fields. Over 3,528 records have them. They are made:

  1. To a group of headings, giving one or two as examples
  2. From a generic heading to headings beginning with a related word
  3. From a generic heading to corresponding subdivisions

General see references

In October 1998, there were 643 general see references. These are reference records (008/09 value "b" or "c" rather than heading records (008/09 value "a"), but they have the term referred from in a 150 field followed by a 260 field. They are made:

  1. From a concept to the corresponding subdivision when no generic heading exists
  2. From a non-preferred adjectival form to the form used in LCSH

Scope notes

Over 5,073 headings have scope notes in 680 fields They may:
  1. Define a heading and clarify or limit its intended meaning
  2. Contrast a heading with another heading that is related in some way
  3. Provide application instructions for a given heading

LC Classification numbers

In October 1998, 77,261 records had at least one corresponding LC Classification number in an 053 field.

Sources found and Sources not found

Citations in 670 fields provide justification for the establishment of a heading and the form of entry chosen. Sources consulted in which no data regarding the heading were found are cited in 675 fields. These fields are present in records for headings established since 1986. They may be added to records for headings established earlier whose form of entry has changed or whose references have been revised.

SACO Workshop : Proposing Geographic Subject Headings for LCSH

Excerpts from SACO Workshop : Proposing Geographic Subject Headings for LCSH. A training session by the Library of Congress at ALA, June 1999.


Proposing Geographic Subject Headings Outline

A. Geographic headings in the name authority file vs. the subject authority file

B. Formulation of proper name portion of geographic subject headings (H 690)

1. English vs. vernacular; Anglicize foreign names (H 690)

2. Inclusion of generic terms (H 690)

3. Arrangement of elements; Substantive portion of name in initial position

(H 690)

4. Abbreviations; Initial articles; Capitalizafion; Romanizafion (H 690)

C. Qualification of geographic subject headings (H 810)

D. Reference structure for geographic subject headings (H 690)

E. Review of subject authority proposal form; Authority research for geographic subject headings


F. Special geographic features

1. Regions, (H 760)

2. Rivers and related headings (H 800)

3. Islands (H 807)

4. Extinct cities (H 715)

5. Archaeological sites (H 1225)

6. Parks, Reserves, Gardens, etc. (H 1925)

7. Streets and Roads (H 2098)


Headings for Jurisdictions in the Name Authority File

The name authority file is the place to find established forms of headings for jurisdictions:

  1. Governments, including ancient jurisdictions larger than cities, for example, Rome, Holy Roman Empire, Babylonia.
  2. Places within countries designated as administrative units or populated places in gazetteers, particularly those of the United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN)
  3. In the United States, this may include unincorporated places if they have post offices and are listed in the Rand McNally Commercial Atlas and Marketing Guide.

Previously, headings for jurisdictions that are established in the name authority file were repeated in LCSH if they were needed for use with non-free-floating subdivisions, or as references for other headings. This situation occurred particularly for countries and less frequently for cities. Since December 1994, duplicate subject authority records for jurisdictions have not been created and existing ones are being cancelled out.

Headings for jurisdictions and nonjurisdictional geographic features are both tagged as 151 in the USNL4,RC Authority Format.

For subject cataloging purposes, the jurisdictional 151 headings represent dual concepts:

  1. The government as a corporate body that issues publications and laws, maintains accounts, collects taxes, and employs civil servants, etc.
  2. The physical territory that government controls

To use a jurisdictional heading as a subject, two conditions must be met:

1. It must be coded as being in AACR2 form

2. It must be authorized for use as a subject

In USMARC, this designation is in byte 15 of fixed field 008:

a = authorized for use as a subject

b = not authorized for use as a subject

The default value in the name authority file is "a". The value must be deliberately changed. Whenever LC changes the value, a SUBJECT USAGE note is added in a 667 field that states what heading should be used instead.



Latest Name Policy for Jurisdictions

The reason some jurisdictional headings are not used as subjects is that they are earlier names for countries whose names have changed. LC subject cataloging policy for a jurisdiction whose physical territory has stayed virtually the same but whose government has changed its name, is to use the latest name for that country, regardless of the time period covered or the terminology used in the work being cataloged.


Types of Geographic Headings in LCSH

Nonjurisdictional place names:

Geographic features -- mountains, lakes, rivers, seas, deserts, caves, forests, nonjurisdictional islands, valleys, etc.

Geologic basins and formations, undersea features, ocean currents:

San Juan Basin (N.Mand Colo.)

Kinkelbos Formation (South Africa)

Hoodoo Quartzite (Utah)

El Nino Current

Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Continents and regions:


Asia, Southeastern

New England

Maryland, Southern

Oklahoma Panhandle (Okla.)


Some conceptual groupings of countries:

Communist countries

Developing countries

Commonwealth countries

European Union countries

Islamic countries

Man-made features and designated areas, including engineering constructions h geographic extent -- parks, gardens, reserves, farms, ranches, mines, canals, reservoirs, r streets, trails, bridges, camps, forts, etc.

Archaeological sites, for example, Machu Picchu Site (Peru)

Ancient cities. which ceased to exist before 1500, for example, Babylon (Extinct city)

Note: This heading was previously Babylon (Ancient city)

Note: Cemeteries (H 1365), city sections (H 720), concentration camps, and country clubs, which were established in the subject authority file before August 1996, are now established in the name authority file (cf. 405). Military installations that are currently active or existed in the twentieth century before closing are established in the name authority file.


Formulation of Proper Name

1. Conventional form of name or form most commonly used in English language reference sources, For example,

Black Forest (Germany) not Schwarzwald (Germany)

Acalpulco Bay (Mexico) Bahia de Acalpulco (Mexico)

Rhine River Rhein River

Erzgebirge (Czech Republic and Germany) Ore Mountains (Czech Republic and Germany)

Exceptions: Man-made or designated areas, such as parks, gardens, reserves, streets, and roads, are established in the vernacular, for example,

Naturpark Steinwald (Germany)

Rodovia Transamaz6nica (Brazil)

Parque Nacional Tikal (Guatemala)

Foreign names for features are generally anglicized by translating the generic term for the feature into English, for example,

Ibiza Island (Spain) not Isla de Ibiza (Spain)

Lascaux Cave (France) Grotte de Lascaux (France)

Retain the vernacular if the generic term is an integral part of the name, and there is no other well-known English form:

Maderanertal (Switzerland)

Walchensee (Germany)

2. Include a generic term if the feature is generally referred to that way, or if it is necessary to resolve conflicts:


Vesuvius (Italy)

Jungfrau (Switzerland)

Jura Mountains (France and Switzerland)

Rost Island (Norway)

[Island added to break conflict with ppl. Rost (Norway)]

Tien Shan [conventional form]

3. Elements of names of natural features are generally rearranged to place the distinctive portion first, for example,

Ness, Loch (Scotland)

Mexico, Gulf of

Saint Helens, Mount (Wash.)

Guadalquivir River (Spain) not Rio Guadalquivir (Spain)

Trafalgar, Cape (Spain) Cabo Trafalgar (Spain)

4. No abbreviations; initial articles; capitalization; romanization

Spell out terms that are frequently abbreviated: Saint, Mount, Street, Avenue, etc.

Saint Anthony Falls (Minn.) not St. Anthony Falls (Mnn.)

Washington, Mount (N.H.) Washington, Mt. (N.H.)

Everglades Parkway (Fla.) Everglades Pkwy (Fla.)

Invert English names that begin with the article The:

Mall, The (Washington, D.C.) not The Mall (Washington, D.C.)

Sound, The (Denmark and Sweden) The Sound (Denmark and Sweden)

Retain initial articles for name of non-English origin in English-speaking countries:

El Capitan (Calif.)

El Niiio Current

La Lena Wilderness (N.M.)

Delete initial articles from features in non-English-speaking countries (but retain or add an

English generic term that characterizes the feature)-

Huasteca Region (Mexico) not La Huesteca (Mexico)

Cevennes Mountains (France) Les Cevennes (France)

Capitalize English generic terms; Capitalize foreign terms depending upon rules for the language in Appendix A of AACR2.

Romanize geographic names in non-Roman scripts according to LC transliteration tables and rules, for example, Wade-Giles for Chinese:

T'ien-an men Square (Beijing, China)

Note: LC is planning to switch to pinyin for Chinese subject headings in October 1999.


Qualification of Geographic Headings on LCSH

Qualify in parentheses by name of country, except:

Country Type Example
Australia state (N.S.W.) (Qld.)
Canada province (Man.) (Ont.)
Great Britain constituent country (England)(Scotland)
Malaysia state (Sarawak)
United States state (Calif.) (Md.)
Yugoslavia republic (Serbia)

Specific forms, including abbreviations, for these countries are given in H 810.

The place used in the qualifier must be established in the name authority file.

Use as a qualifier only the latest form of the name:

(Sri Lanka) not (Ceylon)

(Russia) not (R. S.F. S.R.)

For localities in North Korea or South Korea, use (Korea).

When qualifying by the name of a city, use the established heading for the city, but reformulate it by placing it within a single set of parentheses and separating the city name from the name of its larger jurisdiction by a comma, for example, (Glasgow, Scotland).

When a jurisdiction that is being used as a qualifier is itself qualified by a term that designates the nature of the jurisdiction, omit the latter term:

Established form: Micronesia (Federated States)

Form as a qualifier: (Micronesia)

Established form: Arequipa (Peru : Dept.)

Form as a qualifier: (Arequipa, Peru)

Qualify even if the name of the jurisdiction also appears in the name of the feature:

Texas Hill Country (Tex.)

Alps, Austrian (Austria)

Exception: Regions of countries, etc., established with directional qualifiers are not qualified:

California, Southern Italy, Southern


1. Places wholly in one country, or first order political jurisdiction of the six exceptional countries, are qualified by the name of the country, etc.:


Como, Lake (Italy) Colorado River (Tex.)


Archaeological sites and man-made features (parks, gardens, streets, roads, etc.) within cities are qualified by city name in established form:


Bond Street (London, England)


Resolve conflicts with features of the same name in the same country, etc., by including a lower level jurisdiction (county, province, etc.) in the qualifier:

Pelican Lake (Otter Tail County, Minn.)

Colca River (Arequipa, Peru)

Resolve conflicts with jurisdictions of the same name by adding an explanatory term:

Coos Bay (Or. : Bay)

Green Turtle Cay (Bahamas: Island)

2. Places in two countries, etc., are qualified by both countries linked with "and". Put the countries in order of predominance if the feature is predominantly located in one rather than the other, or in alphabetical order if they are relatively equal:

Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.) Laramie Mountains (Wyo. and Colo.)

Qualifiers for rivers are in the order of flow, that is, from source to mouth:

Suwannee River (Ga. and Fla.)

3. Do not qualify international bodies of water, that is, bodies of water touching two or more countries and open to the sea, except to resolve a conflict, for example, English Channel. Do not qualify parts of oceans or undersea features, except to resolve a conflict, Bermuda Triangle; Sohm Plain (Atlantic Ocean).

4. Places in three or more countries, etc., are not qualified except to resolve conflicts, or to clarify an ambiguous term:

Amazon River

Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico)

West (U.S.)


Now, imagine you are cataloging this title and need to establish the river:


100 Derveaux, Daniel.

245 La Rance avec les anciens pays de I'Ev8che de St. Malo, Le Poudouvre, et Le Clos Ratel, Le Clos Poulet, et ses Malouinieres, vers 1760.

260 [Paris, 1973?]


Lippincott says:
Rance River 1. Cotes-du-Nord dept., W France;
rises in the Landes du Mene 1 mi. W. of Collinee,
flows 60 mi. NE, past Dinan, below which it forms
a 13-mi.-long estuary opening on English Channel
at Saint-Malo. Navigable for flat-bottom barges to
Evran (terminus of Ille-Rance Canal). 2. Aveyron 
Dept., S. France, rises 3 mi. S of Camares, flows
30 mi. WNW to the Tarn at Aveyron-Tam dept. line.

LC Name Authority File has:

001 n5O-80185
151 Cotes-du-Nord (France) [AACR 2]
667 SUBJECT USAGE: This heading is not valid for use as a subject. Works about this place are entered under Cotes-d'Armor (France).
678 Formed in 1790
451 Cotes-du-Nord, France (Dept.) [old catalog heading] [do not make]
451 Arvoriou an Nord (France)
451 Aodou an Hantemoz (France)
451 Orae Septentrionales (France)
551 Cotes-d'Armor (France) [later heading]
670 BGN 6/82 (Department des Cotes-du-Nord (Cotes-du-Nord=brief], ADM1, 48' 25'N, 2' 40'W)

How would you formulate the heading?

Rance River (Cotes-D'Armor, France)


References for Geographic Headings in LCSH

A. Make Used For (UF) references from:

1. Alternative or variant names supplied by BGN, or found in reference sources, including earlier names:

Fort Loudoun Lake (Tenn.)

UF Fort Loudon Lake (Tenn.)

Fort Loudoun Reservoir (Tenn.)

McKinley, Mount (Alaska)

UF Denali (Alaska)

Denali National Park and Preserve (Alaska)

UF McKinley National Park (Alaska)

Mount McKinley National Park (Alaska)

2. Straight form, if inverted or manipulated:

McKinley, Mount (Alaska)

UF Mount McKinley (Alaska)

3. The vernacular, if name is translated into English, or a conventional form is used; English form if name is left in the vernacular; other pertinent foreign forms:

Erzgebirge (Czech Republic and Germany)

UF Ore Mountains (Czech Republic and (Germier-many) Krugfie hory (Czech Republic and Germany)

4. Abbreviated forms:

Saint Helens, Mount (Wash.)

UF Mt. Saint Helens (Wash.) Mt. St. Helens (Wash.)

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park

UF C & 0 Canal National Historical Park

5. Forms including initial articles:

Huasteca Region (Mexico)

UF La Huasteca (Mexico)

Sound, The (Denmark and Sweden)

UF The Sound (Denmark and Sweden)

6. The BGN romanized form if it differs from the LC romanized form, for example, BGN romanized form for Russian; pinyin for Chinese.


B. Broader Term (BT) references:

Make up to three references from the generic heading(s) for the type of feature subdivided by the country, or first order political divisions of the United States, Canada, and Great Britain:

Amazon River

BT Rivers-Brazil Rivers-Colombia Rivers-Peru

For features in more than three countries, etc., use an appropriate broader geographic name like a continent or region in the geographic subdivision:


BT Mountains-South America

For individual mountains or peaks in a range of mountains, or individual islands in an archipelago, island cluster, or group, make an additional BT reference from the range of mountains or island group if it is established:

Pikes Peak (Colo.)

BT Front Range (Colo. and Wyo.) Mountains-Colorado

Ibiza Island (Spain)

BT Islands-Spain Pityusic Islands (Spain)