CATALOGING POLICY AND SUPPORT OFFICE

GOVERNMENT-DESIGNATED PARKS AND FORESTS -
PROPOSED CHANGE IN POLICY

By long-standing tradition, the Library of Congress has established headings for government-designated parks and forests as subject headings. This category includes national parks and forests, as well as those at the state, provincial, county, municipal, or other levels. This tradition reflects the fact that the vast majority of usage of these headings is in 6XX fields for works about these parks or forests as physical, geographic entities.

However, many of these parks and forests also have a corporate "identity," and occasionally it is necessary to assign the headings in 1XX or 7XX fields. According to current policy and practice, a heading may not be used in a 1XX or 7XX field unless a corresponding name authority record exists. Therefore, when it is necessary to use one of these headings in a 1XX or 7XX field, current LC practice is to delete the authority record for the subject heading and re-establish it as a name heading, but using subject heading conventions as to the form and qualification of the heading. This practice has proven to be problematical and confusing to users of the LC/NACO authority files. It has resulted in a situation where there are subject authority records for the vast majority of headings for parks and forests, but name authority records for a minuscule number of them. Users of the authority files must be aware that they have to search both name and subject authorities in order to determine whether a particular park or forest has been established, and if so, whether the authority record is appropriate for the required usage or whether the authority record must be deleted as a subject and re-established as a name.

In order to address this problem, the Cataloging Policy and Support Office is considering changing the current practice so that headings of this type that are established in the subject authority file would be usable only as subject headings and would represent only the physical, geographic entities. If it is necessary to assign a heading for a park or forest in a 1XX or 7XX field, a separate name heading would be established to represent the entity as a corporate body. The name heading would be tagged 110 and would have the qualifier (Agency). For example, the following pairs of headings might exist, if needed:

Subject heading: 151 ## $a Yellowstone National Park
Name heading: 110 20 $a Yellowstone National Park (Agency)

Subject heading: 151 ## $a Yosemite National Park (Calif.)
Name heading: 110 20 $a Yosemite National Park (Agency)

The name heading would be potentially valid for use as a subject heading as well. For example, the annual report of a national park might include both information about the park itself as well as information about the business affairs, budget, etc., of the park as a government agency. In that case, both headings would be assigned in 6XX fields.

The advantage of this approach is that catalogers would generally not need to search both name and subject authority records to determine whether a heading has been established. If the heading were needed in a 6XX field, only subject authorities would need to be searched; if it were needed in a 110 or 710 field, only name authorities would need to be searched. Only in cases where both headings were needed for the same item would it be necessary to search both name and subject authorities. Furthermore, the intellectual integrity of the two files would be maintained, with corporate bodies as name headings, and physical, geographic entities as subject headings.

The Cataloging Policy and Support Office invites comments on this proposed change in policy, which may be sent to the following address:

Cataloging Policy and Support Office
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-4134
email: [email protected]
fax: 202-707-6629

Comments should be received no later than December 31, 2004.


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