Metropolitan Museum of Art

MAIN TOPIC OF DISCUSSION : the reforms in the subject headings for topics in the arts

With the explanations and examples offered in the schedules H1148 and H1250 as reference sheets, the discussion oscillated from one end of the scale to the other, from the good points, to the bad points, with the confusing points in between. [the LC revised memos H1148 and H1250 from the Subject cataloging manual are available at]

Were the explanations and examples given for H1148 and H1250 enough and/or clear enough = no single answer

General opinion of examples offered in explanations = bad

The expanded list of century markings as free floaters = good!

Why not even more century markings, or smaller time denominations? = wish list

What does and does not apply to architecture headings = confusing

Why not apply these changes to decorative arts, graphic arts, or photography in similar or uniform patterns = bad, confusing

What sort of global changes will be possible within the differing systems and what will it take to get the various programs in use to do them = no single answer

What sort of "manual" clean-up will be necessary, or should it be necessary to re-do all records done prior to Feb. 1, 2001, or should notes and cross references in existing authorities be enough = no single answer

Is the expansion of century markers at the expense of being able to qualify the existing qualifiers which imply time limits better or worse = confusing

Did the changes regarding the legal use of "Modern" as a qualifier, make things better or worse = no single answer

OTHER: what about leaving a space after an open date, before a sub-heading? = no single answer (different systems read and manifest the space or no space differently)

what sort of work for recon-ing exhibition catalogs is being done? collection level? analytics? both?

QUESTIONS: should there be some sort of meetings, official or unofficial gathering, at ARLIS\NA to continue discussion on headings: questioning what's unclear? asking for more?

could a compilation of examples of LC records showing up in the databases help clarify some points by showing how and how fast LC is putting the new sub-headings into practice under which headings? [examples are being compiled at]

should there be some sort of "pop quiz" or worksheet circulated: this is the old form: ___ what should the new form be? _________ to afford some practice and comparison of interpretation?

SUMMARIZING THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS: are these changes all they were expected to be when first defined and requested? are they anticlimactic in view of expanding computerization, particularly the use of keyword searching?


Monday, April 30th, 2001 at the Whitney
Topics: more on the subject headings; (hyper)links embedded in bib records [a MARBI discussion paper on the topic can be found at]; open to suggestions

notes compiled by