I have noticed that some libraries have a practice and a policy of using “Public law $2 lcsh” in field 380 (Form of work) when creating NARs for individual laws of the United States.  I believe this is incorrect.  It is true that such statutes are given a “Public Law” number when approved, but this is a different sense of the word.  The subject heading “Public law” refers to an area of law, not to an act of Congress.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_law and the distinguishing sentence at the top of the article.  It’s the same as the distinction in French between droit and loi or in German between Recht and Gesetz.


LCSH has the term Statutes, and LCGFT has Statutes and codes.  Either of those would fit laws of the United States, or any other jurisdiction.



John Hostage

Senior Continuing Resources Cataloger //

Harvard Library--Information and Technical Services //

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