6. 372 Field of Activity

Sources: LC RDA Training Pt. 3, Slide 33; LC NACO Bridge Training, Module 2 Describing Persons Slide 53; BL Guide to Authority Records; RDA 9.15, 11.10

Policies and Protocols

372 No indicators


‡a Field of activity (R)
‡s Start period (NR)
‡t End period (NR)
‡u Uniform Resource Identifier (R)
‡v Source of information (R)
‡0 Record control number (R)  <do not use>
‡2 Source of term (NR)

RDA 9.15

NACO Training Module 2, Slide 53

Presenter Notes. Information can be taken from any source; prefer controlled vocabulary, such as LCSH or MeSH, record the source in subfield ‡2. Record as a separate element. For consistency, capitalize the first term in each subfield ‡a. Field of activity is not recorded as part of an access point (RDA

  • ‡a Person’s field of endeavor, area of expertise, etc.
  • ‡a Corporate body’s field of activity or discipline [BL]
  • Record in the 372 field
  • Never part of an access point
  • Prefer controlled vocabulary, such as LCSH or MeSH
  • Capitalize the first word in ‡a

BL Guide:

Use the term for the activity or discipline, not the agent: “Poetry”, not “Poet”.

Use specific rather than general terms when possible: “Poetry”, rather than “Writing”. 

Best practice is to use an LCSH term. If an LCSH term is not ascertainable, use a term suggested by the resource being catalogued, and your research.

When using a term from LCSH, indicate the source in subfield ‡2: 

372     ‡a  Banking ‡2 lcsh

When using subfield ‡2, repeat field 372 if subfield ‡2 does not apply to all terms:

372     ‡a  Ceramics (Art)
372     ‡a Painting ‡a Poetry ‡2 lcsh

Use LCSH terms concisely and only include subdivisions when necessary. Avoid simply transferring LCSH from the bibliographic record to the authority record. Remember that you are describing a person or a body, and not a work.

Subdivisions should be indicated with a double dash (no spaces):

372     ‡a Veterans--Services for ‡2 lcsh

Note that if ‡2 is used, it should be placed after any subfields to which it applies, but before any subfields ‡s, ‡t, ‡u or ‡v.

Only record dates in ‡s or ‡t when considered significant or useful. When using these subfields, repeat field 372 if they do not apply to all fields of activity:

100     Salmon, Peter, ‡d 1954-
372     Preaching ‡2 lcsh ‡s 1985 ‡t 2000
372     Acrobatics ‡2 lcsh ‡s 2000

Field of Activity: Personal Names (BL Guide, RDA 9.15)

A Field of Activity of a person can be professional, occupational, unpaid or recreational: “Librarianship”, “Building”, “Charity work”, “Fishing.”

If they are available, prefer terms for wider professional or occupational activities, over terms for specific posts or positions: “Librarianship” rather than “Authority Control team membership.”

Avoid terms that merely suggest a person’s relationship to the work: “Editing,” “Compiling,” unless it is clear that this is their wider field of activity.

Field of Activity: Corporate Names (BL Guide, RDA 11.10)

Use the term for the activity or discipline, rather than an explanatory phrase. Use an LCSH term if one is readily ascertainable.

372     ‡a Security, International ‡2 lcsh


372     ‡a The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a political and military alliance of 26 countries from North America and Europe committed to fulfilling the goals of the North Atlantic Treaty signed on 4 April 1949