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ERIC Number: ED413923
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Are the Standards Adequate for Organizing African American Studies Resources?
Washington, Dorothy Ann
Standards of bibliographic organization often are inadequate for those libraries with extensive African American studies collections or those with active user groups. This essay identifies areas where the standards are least effective. The experiences of the staff at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, provide useful insight into various problems associated with the organization of African American studies collections. The Cataloging Unit at the Schomburg Center continues to find it necessary to enhance Library of Congress bibliographic records for African American materials. Too often records are not assigned relevant subject headings to reflect the Black experience. Reasons for a lack of Black-related subject headings being assigned to relevant records vary. Some occurrences could be due to insensitivity on the part of the cataloger or unfamiliarity with Library of Congress policy. Several libraries have expressed support for assigning Black-related subject headings that designate the ethnicity of the subject. Another concern is in the area of cross references and explanatory notes. Within the past two years, the Cataloging Unit has processed numerous works about free Blacks for which the Library of Congress MARC record only has the general subject heading "AFRO-AMERICANS." Subject access to individual works of fiction is another area of concern in regard to adequate access. Examples are provided of Library of Congress MARC (DLC) records without relevant subject headings and corresponding catalog records enhanced with relevant subject headings by the Schomburg Center Cataloging Unit. The paper concludes with suggestions for improvement. (Contains 17 references.) (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A