2.4.6 Subject Thesauri Used in the BYU Catalog

This section pertains to subject fields (6XX) in bibliographic records, except 655.

The BYU library catalog uses LCSH for its subject thesaurus. Terms from this thesaurus are identified by second indicator “0” in 6XX fields. All items except some literature and fiction should have at lease one LCSH subject heading.

Headings with other indicators derive from other subject thesauri and should be deleted. For your information, these are:

Second indicator “1”= LC subject headings for children’s literature
Second indicator “2” = Medical Subject Headings (MESH)
Second indicator “3” = National Agricultural Library (NLM) subject authority file
Second indicator “4” = Source not specified
Second indicator “5” = Canadian Subject Headings
Second indicator “6” = Répertoire de vedettes-matière (French-Canadian Subject Headings)
Second indicator “7” – Source specified in subfield $2

There are dozens of possible thesauri that might have second indicator “7.” Some of the more common include FAST headings, and other language headings such as Spanish or German.

Any 690 field (local subject heading) should be deleted unless it deals with Mormon material, in which case, the item should be sent to one of the Mormon catalogers or the Authorities Specialist. The eventual goal is to eliminate all 690 fields.

655 Fields

Unlike other 6XX fields, 655 fields (genre/form terms) do draw on a number of different thesauri. Most will be coded with second indicator “7”, with the code for the thesaurus in subfield |2. Genre/form terms derived from LCSH have been coded both with second indicator “0” or second indicator “4.” Either is acceptable.

If the 655 field shows “UNAUTHORIZED”, first check to see if the 655 heading is established (see the GENRE-FROM authority file in WorkFlows). If the heading has not been established, talk to Bob Maxwell.


Maintained by: Elizabeth Tobiasson

Location / Hours

The Catalog Department is located on Level 6 of the Harold B. Lee Library. The Department is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.