In September 2004, the Cataloging Policy and Support Office (CPSO) announced a proposed change in policy regarding the establishment of headings for government-designated parks and forests. The proposal was intended to address the fact that these headings are most often needed as subject headings for works about these parks and forests, but are occasionally needed as main or added entries for works emanating from the administrative entities that manage or oversee them. The essential point of the proposal was that any such park or forest could potentially be represented by two separate headings, one designating the physical, geographic entity (established as a subject heading tagged 151, usually with a geographic qualifier), and one designating the corporate, administrative entity (established as a name heading tagged 110, with the qualifier (Agency)). CPSO invited comments on the proposal for a ninety-day period, with a deadline date of December 31, 2004.
A substantial plurality of those who submitted comments supported the proposal. Most of those who did not support it favored instead the establishment of only a single heading for each park or forest. This might be either a name heading that would be usable also as a subject heading, or a subject heading that would be coded as also valid for use as a main or added entry.
After reviewing and evaluating the comments that were received, CPSO has decided to proceed immediately with implementation of the original "two heading" proposal. The "one heading" alternatives present problems of their own that are not easily addressed, such as the tagging and qualification of the headings, and their usage as geographic subdivisions in subject heading strings.
The implementation plan will include the following steps:
- Approximately fifty existing name headings for national parks and forests have been identified. These headings will be revised to use the qualifier (Agency) rather than a geographic qualifier and will be retagged 110. If necessary, a counterpart subject heading tagged 151 and with a geographic qualifier, will be established for each. Bibliographic records in the Library of Congress OPAC will be updated as necessary.
- As new headings are needed in the future, they will be established either as name or subject headings, according to the usage needed.
- Appropriate documentation will be revised to reflect this change in practice, including LCRI 24.1 and the Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings, H 1925, Parks, Reserves, National Monuments, Etc.
The new practice will apply not only to national parks and forests, but also to analogous entities such as national battlefields, national historic sites, national lakeshores, national memorials, national monuments, national parkways, national recreation areas, national rivers, national scenic trails, national seashores, national wild and scenic rivers, as well as entities of any of these types established at the state, provincial, departmental, etc., level.
The Cataloging Policy and Support Office would like to express its sincere appreciation to all those who took the time to evaluate the proposal and submit thoughtful and constructive criticism and comments.