Document Type



Canada has a long history of adapting United States subject access tools, including the Library of Congress Classification (LCC), Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), the Dewey Decimal Classification, and the Sears List of Subject Headings, to meet the specific needs of Canadians. This paper addresses the extensions to these American tools for English-speaking Canadians. While the United States and Canada have many similarities, differences exist that require changing terminology and providing greater depth and precision in subject headings and classification for specifically Canadian topics. The major effort has been for Library and Archives Canada (LAC) systematically to provide extensions for LCC and LCSH for use within its cataloging records. This paper examines the history and philosophy of these Canadian efforts to provide enhanced subject access. Paradoxically, French-speaking Canadians may have found it easier to start from scratch with the Répertoire de vedettes-matière because of the difficult decisions for English-language tools on how much change to implement in an environment where most Canadian libraries use the American subject access tools. Canadian studies scholars around the world can use Canadian records, especially those maintained by LAC, to obtain superior subject access for Canadian topics even if they obtain the documents from other sources. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.


Library and Information Science


This article is the publisher's version (American Library Association), previously appearing in Library Resources & Technical Services, v. 52, no. 2, April 2008, pp. 29-43. Copyright 2008 American Library Association,