Selecting Non-Staff Heading Indexes (Names and Subjects)

Question: How do I use the non-Staff Heading indexes for names and subjects?

In previous tips, we talked about using the "Staff" searches in the Voyager catalog module (i.e. those indexes that have the word "Staff" at the beginning). You may remember that these are the only searches, other than number searches, that can be used to find authority records and cross references.

Starting with this month's tip, we'll be looking at some of the other heading indexes available in the Voyager catalog module. Although these indexes cannot be used to retrieve authority records, they can be very useful for authority work.

We'll discuss four indexes this month: Names, Local Subjects, Subjects, andSubjects: Genre/Form. Read on!


Staff sometimes want to find *all* of the bib records that contain a particular name heading, no matter whether the name functions as an author or as a subject. In authority control work, this happens most frequently when doing heading maintenance and when doing research to create a name authority record. Voyager does not normally have an index that allows one to find all such bib records using a single search, so the Orbis2 Cataloging Implementation Group beefed up the "Names" index for this purpose. An Orbis "Names" search will find all the bib records that use a particular name heading as a main entry (1XX), added entry (7XX), series added entry (4XX or 8XX), or subject heading (6XX), including as a local Yale subject heading (69X).

More on these local subject headings next ...

Local Subjects

Yale catalogers, especially our special collections catalogers, assign a variety of local subject headings in Orbis. Because these headings, tagged 69X, are not retrievable using the Staff Heading indexes, the Orbis2 Cataloging Implementation Group created a special "Local Subjects" search that indexes all 69X headings. You can use this index to search for local subject headings such as "Incunabula in Yale Library," "World Christianity," or "Baskin, Leonard, $d 1922- $x Bookplate." The Group also included local subject headings in the "Names" and "Subjects" indexes to make these searches more comprehensive.

More on the "Subjects" index next ...


The Voyager "Subjects" index was expanded by the Orbis2 Cataloging Implementation Group to encompass Library of Congress subject headings, MeSH subject headings, genre/form headings, and all of the various local subject headings assigned by Yale catalogers in the 69X fields. Other subject headings, such as foreign-language headings found on vendor records, are excluded in the "Subjects" search.

And finally...

Subject: Genre/Form

Although genre/form headings (655) are indexed in both the "Staff Subject Heading Search" and the "Subjects" search, you will sometimes want to search them in the separate index called "Subject: Genre/Form." For example, if you needed to clean up the genre heading "Calaveras" because it had changed to a new form of heading, you could use the "Subject: Genre/Form" index rather than one of the two broader subject indexes to avoid the many subject headings for "Calaveras County (Calif.)". Our old NOTIS system did not have a separate index for genre/form headings.

Last modified: 
Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 1:38pm