LGBTQ Library of Congress Subject Headings

The following is a compendium of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer-related authorized Library of Congress subject headings from the LC Authorities. This list is important to me professionally as a cataloger and librarian, as well as personally as a gay man. The language we use to catalog and classify our literature and media matters, and incorrect or outdated language can create access barriers to those resources, so it is critical that we study and are familiar with these headings.

This compendium is hopefully a step in that direction.

There are 875 unique terms altogether, so rather than present them all on one infinitely scrolling page, I have broken them out into the following fourteen categories:

  1. General
  2. Art and Architecture
  3. Business and Business Occupations
  4. Culture and Identity
  5. Film, Theatre, and the Performing Arts
  6. Health, Medicine, and Psychology
  7. History
  8. Law and Legal
  9. Literature
  10. Mass Media
  11. Religion and Spirituality
  12. Sociology
  13. Sports and Fitness
  14. Youth and Education

For this compendium, I chose to focus chiefly on Demographic Group and Genre/Form terms that are related to people and culture of the wider LGBT community. For the sake of brevity, I decided not to include the names of persons, organizations, events, places, and titles—an entire list could be devoted to those headings alone.

The associated metadata is taken from the 150, 4XX, 5XX, and 667-68X MARC fields. For non-catalogers, below is a key to the numbers. In short, the 4XX fields record subject links to terms that are “unauthorized” by Library of Congress — vernacular expressions or old headings that have since been revised, but that still point users to the “authorized” headings. Similarly, 5XX terms point users to related “authorized” subjects or concepts.

  • 430: Tracing for a uniform title see from reference.
  • 450: Tracing for a topical term see from reference.
  • 550: Tracing for a topical term see also from reference.
  • 667: Note that provides general information about a 1XX heading for which a specialized note field has not been defined.
  • 670: Citation for a consulted source in which information is found related in some manner to the entity represented by the authority record or related entities. May also include the information found in the source.
  • 675: Citation for a consulted source in which no information is found related in any manner to the entity represented by the authority record or related entities.
  • 680: Note that provides general information about a 1XX heading for which a specialized note field has not been defined. The note is written in a form adequate for public display.
  • 681: Note that documents the use of the 1XX subject or authorized subdivision heading as an example or reference in fields 260 Complex See Reference, 360 Complex See Also Reference, and/or 680 Public General Note in another authority record.
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