For legal materials, geographic subdivision is the norm, for obvious reasons.  If you encounter a record without it, there should be a very good reason.  If you can’t find a good reason, assume it is probably a mistake and needs to be fixed.  Examples of good reasons are:


1. The heading is a topic that when expressed geographically, is expressed as a subdivision under jurisdiction (Economic policy as a 650, but Ruritania--Economic policy as a 651)


2. It is a subject that we have consciously decided does not allow for geographic subdivision since it should be the same thing anywhere, meaning if the books has a local focus it needs to be brought up by other means, so that since Jewish law does not allow geographic subdivision, one might end up with a second heading (or first heading depending on where one is classing the work) such as Jews--Legal status, laws, etc.--Ruritania or Law--Ruritania--Jewish influences.   Note that Jewish law (Mishpat Ivri) classes in KBM, whereas the two examples given would class with Ruritanian law  in the K schedules.  Note that we are inconsistent in that “Islamic law” accepts geographic subdivision, whereas Jewish, Roman and Canon law do not.




Aaron Kuperman, LC Law Cataloging Section.

This is not an official communication from my employer



From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jesse Lambertson
Sent: Friday, March 10, 2017 11:29 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [PCCLIST] (may subdivide geographically) ?


Happy Friday

I am looking at the Subjects Headings manual for information, a complete rule, on when a topic may be geographically subdivided and when it may not.

Cataloger's Desktop lists all the headings and includes the additional note about which ones may be subdivided geographically. It also mentions the addition of (May Subd Geog) as generated from the existence of "i" in field 008/06 in the authority record.

But I am looking for the rule that actually explains why some headings can be while others not.

In which documentation might I find this philosophical guidance?

Thank you,



Jesse A Lambertson, MLIS

Head of Cataloging & Metadata

Georgetown University Law Library

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Ph: 202-662-9167