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Geographic names AACR2 23/LCRI 23 + SCM memos H690-H1023

Last revision 8/15/01 (HTML formatting dsl 7/23/03)

Jump to: Place name as subject: Latest form
            Indirect subdivision by place

As with personal and corporate names, you only need to consider this if there is no authority record for the heading.

LCRI 23.1. In certain cases, it’s hard to figure out whether an entity is actually a geographic name. This LCRI has a list of types to be considered as geographic (meaning 651 for bibliographic records): city sections, collective settlements, communes, jurisdictions (ancient), active military installations, and park districts.

If a heading on the list  is tagged as a place, it must be qualified by the larger entity (usually the country, but could be state or region)

Military installations are: forts, bases, camps, airfields, arsenals, and Coast Guard stations (but not shipyards).

Note that a non military airfield is corporate, 110/610.

23.2A1/LCRI 23.2A1.  English form? The instruction is to use the English form if in general use. LCRI says to check BGN, i.e. you need to search Geonet. If Geonet gives both a vernacular and an English form, use the English form. Otherwise use the vernacular form <i.e. the official language of the country, per AACR 23.2B1>

A tricky area is Eastern Europe, where the heading on the item may be in German or Yiddish. If the entity is now located in a non-German speaking country, the heading must be in the language of the country if used as a subject. Example: Breslau. <But see 23.3A below>

Note that the RI instructs you to drop initial articles of entry element if the geographic name is Hebrew and Yiddish. (Article is generally dropped in English unless the name is “non-English,” e.g. Los Angeles; article generally retained for non-English languages, so Hebrew/Yiddish are exceptional for non-English languages)

Note that for English language terms Saint/Mount, the spelled out form is always used, even if it is abbreviated in the source <exception: United Kingdom and Rep. of Ireland; also follow whatever NLC does; Hebraica is unlikely to run into either of these exceptions>

Use the BGN romanization. (Unless it conflicts with a heading used on an LC bibliographic record)

23.3A. Note that for publications of jurisdictional documents (geographic name functions as a corporate body),  or if the geographic name is used to qualify a corporate body name, then use the name that would apply to the document when it was originally published.

<So use Breslau (Germany) in 110/710 if the government of Breslau originally issued the document; but the subjects would probably use some form of Wroclaw (Poland)>

Note list of special rules for certain countries in the RI.

23.4.A1. Punctuation. If the place name is the entry element, the qualifier of the larger entity is in parentheses; if the same place name is used to qualify a corporate name, then the larger entity is not in parentheses; instead use a comma)

Tel Aviv (Israel)

But: Be. ha- _h. ha- ironi  a. sh. Hadasah (Tel Aviv, Israel)

23.4.B1. Other than a country or state, add to the name of a place the name of the larger place. Note that there are additional rules under 24.6 for distinguishing place names when used for a government. While some North American/Australian places used as additions are abbreviated, the B.14 appendix, other than R.S.F.S.R, does not have much application to Europe or Israel.

LCRI 23.4B1. Note that if the smaller place  still exists, the LCRI says to use the current form for the larger place, but if the smaller  place no longer exists (or has changed its name), then the smaller place is qualified by the contemporary name of the larger place.

LCRI 23.4B1. Note that if the larger place is established with a further qualifier, the qualifier is not included when the larger place is used as a qualifier; there is a complicated exception made for Berlin.

23.4C1. States, provinces, territories in Australia, Canada, Malaysia, the U.S., USSR, and Yugoslavia are not qualified by the name of the country.

23.4C2. If the place is in one of the states, etc., qualify it by the name of the state, etc.

 23.4.D2. Places in the United Kingdom are qualified by England, Ireland, etc.

23.4E1. Otherwise, qualify by the name of the country.

LCRI 23.4E: “Do not add the name of the country to places that prior to 1967 were in Jordan, or Syria and that are currently within the administered territories of Israel.  For Jerusalem, use “Jerusalem.”

151 Golan Heights

151 Jerusalem

23.4F1. Distinguishing places with the same name. Note that if a word/phrase is associated with the name, this is the first means of resolving the conflict. The LCRI notes that the cataloger is expected to check the reference sources even if there is no conflict in the database. For non-US, use Geonet.

23.4F2/LCRI 23.4F2. City sections.  Some of these used to be est. via SACO or by LC subject catalogers. Now this is all NACO. LCRI: “For city sections, add the established form for the name of the city” using the heading reflecting its current status for theentire period of the place’s existence. Since a cross reference is required, you need to refer to Dan to establish. 151 Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)

Note that if a corporate name or series uses a geographic name as a qualifier, the geographic name must be established.

SCM Geographic headings and subdivisions. H690-H910 + SPECIAL PLACES

Jurisdictional headings are est. via NACO. Non-jurisdictional geographic names are est. via SACO. In authority records either would be tagged 151; SACO authority records have 550 (topical see alsos); NACO authority records do not.  Either would be tagged 651 when used as subjects. A SACO heading should not be used as 110/710. Examples of non-jurisdictional headings Hebraica cataloging might encounter: Archaeological sites, historic sites, extinct cities (pre-1500), geographic features, parks & recreation areas, valleys.

Whether the heading is NACO or SACO, the first place to check after LTLC is GEONET. (the electronic version of BGN)  The Columbia gazetteer is also useful. We have an older version published by Lippincott which is often cited as Lipp.

For non-jurisdictional names, note that, unlike the RIs, SCM prefers the English form if available from GEONET, especially for geographic features, and catalogers are instructed to translate the “generic term” if none is available, e.g. est. form for Strazovska hornatina (Slovakia) is Strazov Mountains (Slovakia) <of course, you have to make sure you use the nominative case!>. (H690.3b.)

SCM H708: When using place names in subject access, use the latest form unless otherwise noted.  In some cases where there is ambiguity, LC has entered a usage note in field 667 on the authority record. “This heading is not valid for use as a subject.”

SCM H710. Mergers, splits, etc.

SCM H713. First order political divisions.

These are departments, provinces, republics, states, etc.

When a first order political division is used as geographic subdivision, the name of the country is not interposed for U.S., Canada, and Great Britain.

SCM H715 Extinct cities. Applies to all cities that ceased to exist before 1500. Qualifier is (Extinct city). Earlier usage: (Ancient city) or (City) depending on time of existence. The (Extinct city) qualifier is dropped when the name of the city is used as a qualifier for a building or city section, e.g. Palace of Knossos (Knossos) <the est. form for the city is Knossos (Extinct city)>

SCM H720 City sections. These were once est. via SACO and are now est. via NACO.  City sections can be 651s but cannot be used as geographic ($z) subdivisions. To bring out the locality, only the city is used in $z.

H760. Regions. Regions are free-floating, i.e. they don’t need to be represented by an authority record to be used on a bibliographic record. The base name (the name to which “Region” is added) must be established.  Region may be added to names for geographic features, including roads, parks, mines, etc.: Caspian Sea/Caspian Sea Region. Do not use with islands, river valleys, watersheds, or extinct cities. Region is used before the qualifier: Hood, Mount, Region (Or.). The colon qualifier is dropped if used on the base heading: George, Lake (N.Y. : Lake)/ George, Lake, Region (N.Y.)

SCM H790. City regions. Expressed via name of the city,  Metropolitan Area, Suburban Area, or Region. The add-ons are free floating as long as the city name has been established. Jerusalem Metropolitan Area.  See the definitions. The title of the book, etc. is your best guide for when to assign.

SCM H800. Rivers, River Valleys. Note that  <name of river> Valley or Watershed is NOT free floating. Region is free floating. Note that the qualifier for the river is determined by the number of jurisdictions it embraces. (One, two, or more than two)

SCM H807. Islands. Very lengthy stuff. Look it up if you need to use an island as a subject.

SCM H810. Qualifiers. 

1. Qualify by name of country except for:

Australia (by state)

Canada (by state)

Great Britain (constituent country)

Malaysia (by state)

United States (by state)

Yugoslavia (republic)

2. Qualify entities in cities such as parks, streets, gardens by the name of the city.

3. Names of extinct cities are qualified by (Extinct city) H715

4. Rivers (H800): one, two, or many

5. Latest name is used in qualifier.

6. When city is the qualifier, change parentheses to comma: Central Park (New York, N.Y.). Note that if the qualifier is qualified in its established form, the qualifier is dropped when the name is used as a qualifier: Seattle (Wash.) NOT Seattle (Wash. : State). . Note examples for handling conflicts (geographic name used in 2 different places).

7. Note that H810 has list of all the first order divisions used with the special countries, as well as the abbreviations (if any) used in the qualifier.

SCM H 830 Geographic subdivisions

On authority records for topics,  always check the D/I fixed field to see if further subdivision by place is allowed. Don’t go by practice, go by the authority record; practice is often wrong. If you pull up a guide screen and there are just a few place subdivisions, be suspicious. An egregious example is Art, Primitive  D/I blank. Try a search on that subject.

See also H835 and H836 for use of 781. If 781 is on the record, this authorizes subdivision by place.

150 Geonim  <D/I ? means further subdivision by place is not allowed>

150 Geonic literature <D/I i means further subdivision by place is allowed>

Indirect subdivision by place. In earlier times,  catalogers following LCSH were instructed to subdivide by place directly in certain situations, e.g. 650 _0 Art, French|zParis (France),  i.e. the subdivision for place went directly to the smaller place name, which was then qualified by the larger place name. This practice is no longer followed, though you will still see it on printed and typed cards. In current practice, the larger place is followed by a second |z with the smaller place, unless per AACR2 & the RIs, the place would not be qualified, in which case, the place is entered directly.

650 _0  City planning|zIsrael|zTel Aviv.

650 _0 City planning|zIsrael.

The 2 exceptions are:   Jerusalem and Washington (D.C.), which are entered directly.

650 _0 Taxation|zJersualem.

Kingdoms and extinct cities within a modern jurisdiction are entered thru the jurisdiction.

650 _0 Priests|zIraq|zUr (Extinct city)

City sections are not brought out in subdivisions. If a place subdivision is used,  subdivide by the city.

651 _0 Temple Mount (Jerusalem)

651 _0 Excavations (Archaeology)|zJerusalem. <note that because Jerusalem is not qualified in its established form, a larger place is not inserted between Excavations (Archaeology) and Jerusalem>

When subdividing locally, use the latest name, regardless of time period.

245:10: |a J_udisches Wirken in Breslau …

650/1: 0: |a Jews |z Poland |z Wroclaw |v Biography.

Metropolitan areas: generally subdivide by the larger entity to which the named city is subordinate. The exceptions are: Jerusalem Metropolitan Area, New York Metropolitan Area, and Washington Metropolitan Area.

650 _0 City planning|zIsrael|zTel Aviv Metropolitan Area.


650_0 City planning|zJerusalem Metropolitan Area.

For cities entered as subdivisions, the country is generally the larger place interposed. The exceptions are cities in Canada, Great Britain, and the United States. (Note that this list is much shorter than the list of countries that use first order subdivision as qualifiers, e.g. Australia. Cp. SCM H810) For Canada, Great Britain, and the U.S.,  the larger place interposed is the province, state, or constituent country.

650 _0 Rabbis|zCalifornia|zLos Angeles|vBiography.

650 _0 Rabbis|zNew York (State)|zNew York|vBiography.  <remember: you can’t use city sections as subdivisions: no Bronx, Hollywood, etc.; note also that est. form for the cities is Los Angeles (Calif.) and New York (N.Y.) but that first order political divisions aren’t abbreviated when used as geographic subdivisions.>

SCM H830.6. If the qualifier for the locality in the subdivision is the same as the interposed larger body, then delete it. Retain any part of the qualifier that is not used in the interposed heading. Note therefore that the places qualified by first order political division that are not in the short list must retain their qualifier when used as subdivisions.

City planning|zIsrael|zTel Aviv.

Est. form: Tel Aviv (Israel)

City planning|zCalifornia|zLos Angeles.

Est. form: Los Angeles (Calif.); U.S. is  on the list of countries where place is qualified by first order political division and it is also on the short list of countries where place is entered indirectly after the first order political division

City planning|zAustralia|zSydney (N.S.W.)

Est. form: Sydney (N.S.W.); Australia is on the list of countries where place is qualified by first order political division (N.S.W.) i.e New South Wales but it is NOT on the short list of countries where place is entered indirectly after the first order political division. Since the qualifer (N.S.W.) does not repeat the interposing place name Australia, (N.S.W.) is retained in the indirect subdivision. The other countries left off the list are Malaysia and Yugoslavia.

SCM H830.7. If the subject includes the name of a place, subdivide by the name of the same place place only if a more specific place needs to be brought out indirectly: Art, Israeli|zIsrael|zTel Aviv but NOT Art, Israel|zIsrael.

SCM H832. Geographic subdivisions to city level. There was once a list of topics that could not be further subdivided by city. In those cases, the headings were doubled. This practice has been discontinued. Any topic or subdivision that may be subdivided geographically may be subdivided to the city. In most cases, doubling (second subject under the name of the city) is not done. Exceptions: Local history (H1845), Structures  <use [city]|xBuildings, structures, etc., city is is an important aspect of the work in its own right, and works about disasters, riots, demonstrations in cities.

SCM H 835. 781 field. LC plans to record proper indirect form in 781 fields in name authority records.

SCM H 836. 781 field. LC plans to record proper indirect form in 781 fields in subject authority records.

SCM H 860. Subdivisions further subdivided by place.

Topical subdivisions may be authorized for further subdivision by place, even if the entry element is not so authorized. (H860) Hence, Global warming is not authorized for geographic subdivision, but Global warming|xEconomic aspects|zUnited States is OK  because the authority record for the subdivision Economic aspects is D/I i. Note: authority records for subdivisions reside only in LTLC. In the Free Floating lists, look for (May Subd Geog).

SCM H 870. Interpostion of geographic subdivisions.

 If the subdivision does not allow subdivision by place, but the entry element allows subdivision by place, the place subdivision should precede the topical subdivision. (H870). This is a fairly new development, and much of the older practice (doubling of subjects) in Orbis is now obsolete.

SCM H910. Place as theme in art, literature, motion pictures, etc.

To bring out place, use –In art. If the book is a collection of art reproductios, use |v.

651 _0 Tel Aviv (Israel)|vIn art.

The old form would have been: 651 _0 Tel Aviv (Israel)|xDescription and travel|xViews or 651 _0 Tel Aviv (Israel)|xDescription|xViews; you might encounter this on old derive cataloging & would need to update.

For collections of photographs of Tel Aviv, use:

651 _0 Tel Aviv (Israel)|vPictorial works.

For collections of pictures made prior to photography to record views, use –Pictorial works.

For place as a theme in art, use |xIn art (formerly: <place> in art; change this form when using old derived records)

Similarly, use <place>|xIn literature to bring out a place as a thematic topic.

<place> in the Bible. These must be established via SACO. Note that the tag is 650 NOT 651.

650 _0 Jersusalem in the Bible.


SCM H945 Germany. These are the only valid headings that can be used as subjects:

·         Germany. All of Germany before or during WWII,  reunified Germany since 1990, and works that discuss Germany (East)/Germany (West) collectively.

·         Germany (East).  Eastern Germany before 1949 or after 1990, the Russian occupation zone, and the German Democratic Republic 1949-1990. Direct when used as subdivision. Do not subdivide further (see below)

·         Germany (West). Western Germany before 1949 or after 1990, US/British/French occupation zones, German Federal Republic 1949-1990. Direct when used as a subdivision. Do not subdivide further (see below)

·         Germany, Northern; Germany, Southern. Use without regard to time period.

For Berlin, use Berlin (Germany). Note that if Berlin is used as the initial level of a corporate name hierarchy in a subject, it is necessary to indicate West or East.

When a place is subdivided through Germany,  do not include (East) or (West)

650 _0 Rabbis|zGermany|zWiesbaden|vBiography.


650 _0 Jews|zGermany (West)|vBiography <autobiography of a Jew who lived in the German Federal Republic>

043: use e-gx--- for Germany as a whole regardless  of period. Use e-ge--- for Germany (East) conditions described above, and e-gw--- for Germany (West) conditions described above. Note that Germany, Northern, Southern, etc. and Prussia use e-gx---

Use Germany without East or West as the geographic qualifier.

SCM H980 Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, West Bank, & Palestine

These are all est. without qualifier, and are entered directly if used as geographic subdivisions.

If a place is within Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, or West Bank, divide through it.

650 _0 Pottery|zWest Bank|zJericho.

Also, use as qualifier: 651 _0 Qanah River Cave (West Bank)

If a place is located in both Israel and one of the disputed territories, do not qualify it: 651 _0 Alexander River. <Israel and West Bank>

Jurisdictions within any of the disputed territories are also without qualifier: Hebron, Nablus, Gaza.

Palestine is used as a subject heading for works about the area that comprises the modern state of Israel and the various disputed territories. For ancient times, Palestine is used for the area called the  Land of Canaan and later the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Note that Palestinian National Authority is a jurisdictional government entity and should not be used as a subdivision. If it has any subfield b’s, note that it is then tagged 610 10. (Not 20).

Note the geographic area codes used: Gaza Strip (awgz) Golan Heights (a-sy) Jerusalem (a-is or awba) Palestine (a-is) and West Bank (awba)

SCM H990 New York (N.Y.). Note that until 1997 New York City was entered directly. Current practice is through New York (State). Edit any derive records accordingly.

The boroughs (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queen, Staten Island) are handled like city sections. However, if the book is about administrative/legal works for the borough,  the administrative name is used, e.g. Bronx County (N.Y.), Kings County (N.Y.) Note that as counties, they should be entered indirectly through New York (State); as boroughs they are treated as city sections and are not permitted as subdivisions.

SCM H 1023 Soviet Union. From 1981-1992, Soviet Union was used for all periods (latest form is always used). To reflect the split up, in 1992 the practice became: a. Russia for pre 1917, b. Soviet Union 1917-1991 c. Individual republics post 1991.

1.      Russia. If book is a general work on Russia pre-1917, use Russia as 651 or in |z. If on a specific locality, divide through the current jurisdictional name.

2.      Soviet Union. Subdivision practice: if general work on 1917-1991 period,  use Soviet Union; if specific locality, same as Russia.

3.      The general subject term for Soviet Union after the breakup is: 151 Former Soviet republics. All the republic names are established and listed an H 1023, as well as the 043 codes.

4.      Russian S.F.S.R. and other S.F.S.R.s are no longer valid (used for the republics prior to the breakup) as subjects (but would still continue for jurisdictional subjects)

5.      The republics listed under H1023 are used to qualify places within them: 651 _0 Vilnius (Lithuania); 651 _0  Moscow (Russia) . Note that if the name of the republic is qualified, e.g. Russia (Federation), the qualifier is dropped if the republic name is used in a qualifier.

6.      You can use Russian or Soviet as adjectival qualifiers; Soviet as an adj. qualifier can only be used for the appropriate period.