Subject analysis of an item influences the classification and subject headings. It also may indirectly affect some notes.

Classification serves the general purpose of keeping maps of a general area and/or subject together in the collection. Subject headings serve the same purpose, except that they keep entries providing access t the items together inn an alphabetical bibliographic arrangement.

The first step in subject analysis of an item is to eliminate peripheral material from consideration. Example:

Subject analysis of an item should be as specific as the work warrants. Specificity of treatment does not depend on the holdings of material in a particular area.

Generally, the classification for an item should not be narrower than the primary subject heading.

Subject analysis of a work is made based on usefulness and content, not aesthetics.

Subject analysis is based on what an item is as opposed to what it says it is. However, try not to defy the author or publisher in assessing the purpose of a publication. For materials where judgment of subject content is especially difficult, give publisher’s intent special emphasis in classification. Examples:

If the author’s or publisher’s statement of the purpose or contents of an item is actually misleading, the statement of content (title, etc.) may be ignored, and the work classed without regard to the stated publisher’s intent.

Every map of an identifiable place must have a subject heading for the area. Maps of places that cannot be identified receive no geographic subject headings.

There is no limit imposed on the number of subject headings that can be given to a particular item for full-level cataloging, provided they are properly applied.

A map of three places that must be classified in the area that contains them all need not receive the tracings for the larger area. The tracing for the three places concerned may be sufficient. (2)

A general work may receive a secondary subject tracing for a non-general subject so long as the second subject is not subsumed in the concept of the more general heading. Example:

A map of a broad subject received the subject heading that corresponds to the content of the item as a whole. Only rarely is one component of the broad heading singled out for tracing. Example:

A single aspect of structural geology (e.g., earthquakes) would rarely be traced in addition to the general heading. Some instances in which an exception might be made are:

if the item had been called Earthquake map, but was actually a general tectonic map of France;

if earthquake information had been overprinted on the general tectonic map;

if there were a separate legend, inset, ancillary map, or text about earthquakes only.

All subject headings traced must be justified by something that appears in the record. The justification may appear in the call number, title, series, notes, etc.

Subject Headings Decision Table

See also:

Subject Access