I'm looking at how to set up one or more local (and idiosyncratic) 
vocabularies that could be high-level subject or "genre" (best element 
that fits) vocabularies, to describe special groupings we would want 
(some guessed at examples,  "yellow-back collection" "pamphlets by 
African American authors" "art history web resources").  These might be 
for internal use or public (e.g. website naviation of collections).

We'd like to be able to identify which local vocabularies we're using in 
our MODS and MARC records.  In MARC, the specification says to use a 
term from the MARC Code list in subfield 2; the only one available to us 
is "local".  The MODS guidelines for authority attribute for both 
subject and genre suggest using the MARC Code lists but don't prescribe it.

We'd like to go beyond "local" so we can code more than one local 

Am thinking  about inventing a convention, something like , e.g., 
<mods:genre authority="local GEU projectvocab">  to assign our own 
abbreviation or label for a local vocabulary.  

Has anyone else felt the need to do something like this, or tried it... 
do you think this strategy would work, see any problems with it, or have 
suggestions for an alternative strategy?

Beyond my immediate need: would a change in either the conventions for 
use of the MARC codes for genre or subject, or the data structure to 
permit identifying institution and local vocabulary code, be a good thing?

Thanks in advance for advice,


Laura Akerman, Technology and Metadata Librarian
Robert W. Woodruff Library, Room 128
Emory University
Atlanta, Ga. 30322
ph:  (404) 727-6888  / email:  [log in to unmask]