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A question has arisen in our Description Section at The Library
of Virginia concerning periodic subdivisions in the 650 field.

Is it o.k. to use the heading:

650  0  Cotton farmers \z Virginia \y 19th century.

Or does it have to read:

650  0  Cotton farmers \z Virginia \x History \y 19th century.

I have not read anything that says you can't use the first
heading above.  In LC's SUBJECT CATALOGING MANUAL : SUBJECT
HEADINGS under H620 it states that using the subdivision
-History followed by a "century" subdivision is the "MOST
COMMON METHOD."  Does that mean you can't do it without the
subdivision " - History?"

It seems to me that using the term "- History" is repetitive,
and also does not accurately reflect the material being
described.

First of all, if it is 18th or 19th century, it would be
"historical" in nature, wouldn't it?  Why add the subdivision "
- History?"

Secondly, adding the subdivision "-History" implies a narrative
or analysis or treatment of the subject in question.  Like a
book on cotton farming in the 19th century.  The material being
described is orginal manuscript material from cotton
plantations.  It's the material itself.  It wasn't collected to
document the history of cotton farming.  Am I clear in this
distinction??  Hope so.

The question is:  Can I use the first heading listed above, or
am I breaking the rules?  The second heading is the "most
common," but does that mean it's the only valid one?

Jim Greve
The Library of Virginia
800 E. Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
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