ARLIS/NA Annual Conference, Los Angeles
Notes from Cataloging Problems Discussion Group - 3/31/2001

Sherman Clarke, Facilitator

Sherman Clarke (SC) discusses background of LC's revision of subject headings for art so they'd conform to the general $x Topical $z Geographic $y Chronological $v Form order of subdivisions. He found a book that itself contained subject headings in several old patterns that became nicely parallel in new form. See examples on his Geocities page at:

Alexis Curry (AC): Will LC issue revised instructions for Architecture?

SC: Some revised architecture headings have appeared on Weekly Lists and LC has said they are working on instructions for architecture. Art, Italian is the pattern heading for art and is therefore the new 1st place where headings with all possible centuries are being established.

What are people doing regarding catalog maintenance? No consensus. SC and others doing global updates or "find and replace" but still left with redundancy such as:

  1. Art, Italian [this heading too general alone but had been paired with Art, Modern $y 20th century $z Italy]
  2. Art, Italian $y 20th century [this heading alone would be adequate; formerly Art, Modern $y 20th century $z Italy]

At a Washington DC meeting it was felt that reference staff didn't care about the welter of new style/old style headings. Their chief concern was that we keep cataloging new acquisitions at the same rate.

Consensus that automated maintenance activities will get done but redundancy and more complex headings will elude maintenance. Also, easy copy cataloging is hampered.

Chris Huemer (CH): Are headings with , Modern being eliminated?

SC: No longer subdivided geographically.

CH: It would be great if they got rid of all , Modern headings. Were the revised headings a surprise to people?

SC: Mendenhall paper laid groundwork; proposed revisions posted over 1 year ago; ARLIS CAC responded; 2/01 LC implemented new headings.

Elizabeth O'Keefe (EOK): Morgan catalogers very grateful for new possibilities of assigning centuries in Medieval period. E.g. Painting, French $y 13th century. They had been assigning such headings locally already.

Kay Teel's listserve message about how she explained new headings to a curator was helpful. [The instructions about architecture did not reflect later listings in the Weekly Lists.]

Susan Lentz (SL): They have a large collection of exhibition catalogs. What about using names of palazzos as 710s?

SC: This is a swampy area of LC policy. While they say that such buildings are not corporate bodies some exhibition halls and the like are used and established as name headings. Others have 1 heading for building and another for corporate body:

Maria Oldal (OM): Could we use family names as 700s? It would be great for describing provenance? Archivists often family names as 100 or 700 though they're established in the subject file.

Jane Collins: Is anyone having trouble with those auction house names that we've been asked to add to the NAF? They're hard. Do we cite old SCIPIO authority in a 670? There hasn't been a SCIPIO coordinator since 1994 which has gotten to be a problem. What about personal names of auctioneers? Could they be corporate bodies?

Mark Bresnan (MB): add (Firm) to create such a heading.

Marianne Cavanaugh (MC): We're having our slide library database loaded into our opac and must use headings assigned by registrar. Multiple authority files in opac?

Elizabeth Robinson (ER): Talk to Leslie Abrams at UCSD. I think she was faced with same problem. [Maria Oldal's paper for subject cataloging workshop dealt with alternative vocabularies.]

EOK: How many headings will be in conflict?

MC: It is 68,000 records. (is this possible?)

CH: How are people handling the strange edition statements in Cambridge ancient history?

Daniel Starr (DAS): Either catalog each volume separately as they do for Henry Moore catalogue raisonne or have a note: "Set may contain volumes from different editions."

If one has 17 records for a given title the cataloging may be correct but is the reader best served by this approach?

Michael May (MM): Use a uniform title?

SC: As far as response time LC usually answers queries right away or not at all.

Laura Harris: How about getting geographic subdivision for Photography, Artistic? Any hope for this oh-so-useful heading?

SC: We usually end up using Photography $z Germany $x History $y 20th century to get place and time period in. There are lots of new genres of photography which LCSH has yet to address.

Kay Teel (KT): One is forced to think of photography in terms of technique to catalog it, not as an art form.

Annamaria Poma-Swank (APS): Sickened by heading for Caravaggio under Merisi.

Group: Must have been a local heading or a see reference.

SC: Just happen to have "M the man who became Caravaggio" with me and looks at CIP.

How about Painting, Russian and Painting, Soviet and the issue of geographic subdivision in this area.

Group: Agreed it is a constant headache and one must revisit the rules each time one's faced with such items.

Gisele Guay: What about headings like Periodicals $x Indexes $v Periodicals? Can one have multiple $v's? Group: yes

DAS: Reporting as outgoing chair of CAC. Liz O'Keefe is incoming chair. Main item they're dealing with is the proposal to move headings for buildings from SAF to NAF but the committee is open to dealing with other issues. Please suggest.

Karen Weiss: What about the authority heading for Frederic Edwin Church. Mistakenly established as Frederick.

SC: Go in and change the heading and request BFM although LC is more responsive to changes in dates than in form of name.

APS: I want a medieval counterpart to Thesaurus of Ancient Site Names.

SC: Suggest you post a message to ARLIS and VRA lists to see if anybody is working on one or has one already.

Columbus College of Art and Design: Is there a subject heading for mixed media works of art?

Group was unsure of this. MB checked SAF and found LCSH "Mixed media painting" was established in 1994.

X: Subdivisions under Art, Chinese are inadequate as they go to dynasty level but no further. And merge some dynasties.

DAS: I don't think this is an issue LC is working on at the moment. Recent changes have centered on transition from Wade-Giles to Pinyin romanization.

SC: There was a rumor at ALA that LC authorities from Voyager would be available by May or June. Displaying authority records is dependent on implementing Voyager 2000 which they intended to do this spring.

ER/Brett Carnell: Don't count on it.

EOK: We'd like to display entire authority record to our users. Information in 670 and other fields is rich.

Notes by Mark Bresnan, Frick Art Reference Library