Tag of the Month

Category: Tag of the Month Bibliographic Archives
Title: 651 - Subject Added Entry - Geographic Name (R)

In order to access information in a collection, 
library users can do a subject search on the name 
of a city, state, country, river, mountain range, 
region, or other geographical feature. If the 
library users want books about Canada they could 
look under the name "Canada". This makes the 
collection more accessible because the library 
users would not have to know the title or the 
author of individual items to locate the 
information they need. 

In the MARC bibliographic record there are several 
tags which represent different types of subject 
headings. The 651 tag provides geographic names as 
subject headings. This subject heading would NOT 
include topical headings, personal names of real 
people, specific meetings and events, corporate 
bodies, or geographic places used as part of a 
phrase heading. 

AACR2 provides rules for setting up geographic 
names in chapter 23 and Chapter 16 in RDA has
guidelines for identifying places. Many geographic 
names are established in controlled vocabulary lists 
such as Sears List of Subject Headings or Library 
of Congress Subject Headings. The Library of 
Congress also establishes geographic names in the 
LC Name Authority List. Not using a controlled 
vocabulary list of geographic names can cause 
confusion and frustration for library searchers. 
For example, in an uncontrolled vocabulary, a 
searcher looking for information about the Middle 
West states in the United States might look under 
such names as: "Middle West", "Midwest", 
"Midwestern States", "Central States", "North 
Central States", or any number of other names. 
However, if the library uses controlled subject 
heading terms, all of the material about the Middle 
West should be given the same name from the 
controlled subject heading or name authority list 
and cross references would lead the searcher to the 
correct name. 

The addition of subdivision terms to the geographic 
name also provides more precise subject access. The 
subdivisions and the rules for using them are 
established by the agency responsible for the 
subject heading system. 

In the 651 tag the second indicator tells which 
authorized subject heading list is used. Be sure to 
enter the correct indicator for the subject heading 
list that is being used. When using Sears headings, 
enter 7 as the second indicator and sears (all 
lower case letters in subfield 2). 


First  Undefined

 blank Undefined

Second  Subject heading system/thesaurus

     0 Library of Congress Subject Headings 

     1 LC subject headings for children's

     2 Medical Subject Headings 

     3 National Agricultural Library subject 
       authority file 

     4 Source not specified 

     5 Canadian Subject Headings 

     6 Répertoire des vedettes-matière 

     7 Source specified in subfield 2 


     a Geographic name (NR) 

     v Form subdivision (R) 

     x General subdivision (R) 

     y Chronological subdivision (R) 

     z Geographic subdivision (R) 

     2 Source of heading or term (NR) 


The tag ends with a mark of punctuation 
(., !, ?, -) or closing parenthesis. This mark of 
punctuation precedes subfield 2 when present.


Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) 
and LC's Name Authority List are designed for LC's 
own collection and are used by many large public 
libraries, college and university libraries, and 
special libraries. LC's lists are comprehensive, 
and have a large number of free-floating 
subdivisions that can be added to names. 

     651  0 _aUnited States
            _yRevolution, 1775-1783.

     651  0 _aUnited States

     651  0 _aUnited States
            _y20th century.

     651  0 _aSouthwest, New.

     651  0 _aMars (Planet)

     651  0 _aWashington (D.C.)

     651  0 _aWashington (State)

     651  0 _aReserva Biosferica en los Galápagos
              (Galapagos Islands)

     651  0 _aHarlem (New York, N.Y.)

     651  0 _aHaarlem (Netherlands)

     651  0 _aRocky Mountain State Park (Colo.)

     651  0 _aSouth Africa
            _xPolitics and government

     651  0 _aKokomo (Ind.)

     651  0 _aAlabama
            _xSocial life and customs.

     651  0 _aMiddle West.

     651  0 _aBohnsack (N. D. : Township)

     651  0 _aTroy (Extinct city)

Library of Congress Subject Headings for Children's 
Literature or Annotated Card (AC) Headings 
generally use LCSH terms; however, sometimes it 
substitutes a more familiar or shortened version of 
the name in the AC heading. 

     651  1 _aGalapagos Islands Biosphere Reserve
              (Galapagos Islands)

     651  1 _aAlabama
            _xSocial life and customs

     651  1 _aFrench Quarter (New Orleans, La.)

     651  1 _aMars (Planet)

Sears List of Subject Headings is designed 
to meet the needs of small and medium-sized 
libraries. Sears provides a smaller, more 
simplified list of subjects and subdivisions to use 
than LCSH. Sears occasionally establishes a 
different form of the name than LCSH and LC Name 
Authority List. Sears uses Chicago (Ill.), Ohio, 
and United States as models for subdivision of 
Geographic names. 

     651  7 _aUnited States
            _y1775-1783, Revolution.

     651  7 _aUnited States

     651  7 _aUnited States
            _y20th century

     651  7 _aSouthwestern States.

     651  7 _aMars (Planet)

     651  7 _aAlabama
            _xSocial life and customs.

     651  7 _aSouth Africa
            _xPolitics and government.

     651  7 _aChicago (Ill.)
            _vTelephone directories.

     651  7 _aOhio