ALA Midwinter 2000
Subject Analysis Committee
(reports from Monday p.m.)

The Subcommittee to Promote Subject Relationships and Reference Structures held a forum on Saturday morning, with presentations on some biographical databases and Getty projects. They will hold another forum at ALA Annual 2000. They discussed the problems with the lack of access to subject authority records now that the LCXR file in MUMS has been taken down. At LC, the subject authority records are available to catalogers in one file and a parallel file is used as the master file for production of the red books. Output of the red books continues on a mainframe, using LC filing rules. Development of a thesaurus view of the subject authority records is considered important.

A SAC subcommittee wrote a report in response to Sanford Berman’s request to ALA Council for action on LCSH terms relating to poor persons. The subcommittee took a SACO-like approach to the individual terms. Specific issues: general agreement that subject heading proposals do not efficiently get submitted to ALA Council; should literary warrant include the popular media and man-on-the-street terminology?

The new edition of the fiction terms (“gsafd” after its MARC code) has been through the SAC structure but is still not published by ALA. Having the records in machine-readable form would be a real service to the library community, and if they’re to be created, ALA would like SAC to do it. Adam Schiff noted syndetic problems in the first edition, discovered while entering the terms in the University of Washington opac; many have been cleared up in the second edition. A subcommittee will be established to investigate a file of machine-readable records.

The Dublin Core initiative is developing a thesaurus of type terminology (abbreviated DCT1).

The LC thesaurus for graphic materials is available at http://www.loc.gov/lexico, using the Lexico software.

notes compiled by: sherman.clarke@nyu.edu