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Cataloging Toolbox for U.S. Federal Government Information

Library of Congress Controlled Vocabularies

Library of Congress Controlled Vocabularies

Subject cataloging depends on lists of controlled subject access vocabulary and thesauri. This site provides access to free lists for:

  • Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
  • Library of Congress Genre Form Terms for Library and Archival Materials (LCGFT)
  • Library of Congress Medium of Performance Thesaurus for Music (LCMPT)
  • Ethnographic Thesaurus (AFSET)
  • Thesaurus for Graphic Materials (TGM): Subject and Genre Terms
  • RBMS Controlled Vocabularies: Controlled Vocabularies for Use in Rare Book and Special Collections Cataloging
  • Guidelines on Subject Access to Individual Works of Fiction, Drama, Etc. (GSAFD)
  • Moving Image Genre-Form Guide (MIGFG)
  • Radio Form/Genre Terms Guide (RADFG)
  • CRS Legislative Subject Terms

LC Linked Data Services: Authorities and Vocabularies provides access to commonly found standards and vocabularies both in interactive search and machine access.  It now includes BIBFRAME Works (works and expressions) and Instances (manifestations).

Education Thesaurus

ERIC Descriptors

This searchable thesaurus is a list terms representing research topics in the field of education. They are assigned to every document in the ERIC digital library to describe its subject content. ERIC is a digital library of education research, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.

Medical Subject Headings by the National Library of Medicine

Introduction to MeSh, by the National Library of Medicine

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Thesaurus

OCLC Resources for Controlled Vocabularies

OCLC Bibliographic Formats and Standards MARC field 6xx describes categories of controlled and uncontrolled subject access terms for the MARC21 Communications Standard. See each field for coding of the Sources Codes for Vocabularies, Rules, and Schemes (Library of Congress maintained list).

Sources Codes for Vocabularies

Source Codes for Vocabularies, Codes, and Schemes is maintained by the Library of Congress Network Development and MARC Standards Office. These codes are used in MARC cataloging records and in other metadata description for collections. Global vocabularies are represented, including U.S. federal government vocabularies and thesauri. Some vocabularies are linked to sources.

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus

The National Agricultural Library Thesaurus and Glossary are online vocabulary tools of agricultural terms in English and Spanish, cooperatively produced by the National Agricultural Library, USDA, and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, and others.  The Thesaurus is used to select controlled vocabulary terms for subject indexing of AGRICOLA, PubAg and other databases. Search the Thesaurus in English or Spanish.

AGRICOLA is the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Library (NAL) online catalog.

Plain Language in Healthcare

The Plain Language materials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers plain language equivalents to medical terms and phrases. These are useful for cataloging and metadata description, summaries, and even uncontrolled subject vocabularies.