Subject authority file - meaning, Humanities



Most libraries maintain a subject authority file consisting of subject authority records in order to ensure uniformity and consistency in subject heading terminology and cross-references. The process of creating  subject authority records and maintaining subject authority file is called subject authority control. A subject authority record is made when subject headings are established and used for the first time. ALA Glossary has defined the subject authority file as: 

"A set of records indicating the authorized forms of terms used as subject headings in a particular set of bibliographic records; the references made to and from the authorized forms; and the information used, and its sources, in the establishment of the headings and the determination of the references to be made". 

The above definition suggests that a subject authority record should contain the following items of information: 

  1. established subject heading; 
  2. scope notes, if any; 
  3. cross-references made from it to other headings; and 
  4. sources or authorities on which the decision on the form of heading was based.  
Posted Date: 10/26/2012 2:56:17 AM | Location : United States

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