From: BIBCO Participants’ Manual, Third Edition, 2014:


E5.5. Subject, Genre, and/or Form Headings

BIBCO does not require its participants to use one particular subject thesaurus, genre/form thesaurus or classification scheme. BIBCO participants may utilize any classification or subject heading scheme recognized by the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data.


The Report from the SAC Working Group on the LCSH “Illegal aliens” ATT-3 outlines several alternatives, MESH being the most obvious.


Paul Burley / Northwestern


From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kuperman, Aaron
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 2:01 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Alternatives to using "Illegal aliens" subject heading


I suggest (unofficially) to use the heading “Immigrants”.  It is unlikely any of them are undocumented.  Even if you wash ashore stark naked, the moment a policeman finds you , you cease to be undocumented - you merely lack the “proper” documents.  The LC proposal was to discontinue the word “Alien” (good legalese, but in modern English it suggests being non-human) and to substitute the word “non-citizen” (what “alien” means in plain English) and to set up a new heading for “Unauthorized immigration” - but you need a class of persons heading,  so the heading is “Immigrants.”   Note that in other countries, “illegal aliens” are often stateless persons, foreign workers or native-born members of minorities excluded from becoming citizens (not possible in the US at this time).


I would suggest using “Immigrants-- “ as a first heading, and “Illegal aliens” as a second heading.  Unless this is for a law book, I’m not sure how relevant the “inherently legal“ heading “Illegal aliens” is.


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 Liz Adams
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 2:38 PM
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Subject: [PCCLIST] Alternatives to using "Illegal aliens" subject heading




I recently cataloged a photobook comprised mainly of portraits of undocumented immigrants to the United States. The “correct” Library of Congress subject heading is “Illegal aliens,” but I am very conflicted and very hesitant to use it in a record. Given the plans to change the heading and the recent issues around legislation of this and other subject headings, how are other institutions handling works about undocumented immigrants? Are you using the heading as it currently exists? Does anyone know when we can anticipate hearing from SACO on the status of the proposal to change the heading?


Many thanks,





Liz Adams

Special Collections Cataloger

David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Duke University


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