Deriving Faceted Terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings for Music

  Gary Strawn, Northwestern University; Casey Mullin, Western Washington University

MLA has been collaborating for many years with the Library of Congress to develop the new faceted vocabularies for music: LCMPT and LCGFT. With the initial release of the terms in 2014 and 2015, respectively, music catalogers have embarked upon implementation of these and other faceted attributes in current cataloging. In order to realize the full benefits of faceted data for what resources are (as opposed to what they are about), however, it is necessary to retrospectively add appropriate terms to bibliographic records for all music resources in a given database.

The MLA-CMC Vocabularies Subcommittee has studied the issue for the past several years, and in collaboration with Gary Strawn (of Authority Toolkit fame) has designed a computer algorithm to analyze the contents of LCSH music headings and derive faceted terms that can be automatically added to bibliographic records. The speakers will unpack the many complexities and limitations built into LCSH practice and demonstrate the powerful potential of the algorithm in large bibliographic databases.

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