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In 1946, the Université Laval in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, started using Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) in French. To do so, the librarians created an authority list in French, Répertoire de Vedettes-matière (RVM), whose first published edition appeared in 1962 (the first edition appeared with the title Répertoire des Vedettes-matière). Since then, RVM has had increasing importance in providing support for subject access in francophone countries around the world as other libraries, first in Canada and then in Europe, either adopted RVM, often with some modification, for subject access or used it as a resource for creating French subject terms.

The following article will examine why and how the Université Laval adopted LCSH as a means to provide subject access at an acceptable cost for its own library. The next step included partnerships with the most important libraries in Canada with an interest in French-language cataloging--the Université de Montréal, the Bibliothèque Nationale du Canada (BNC) (the National Library of Canada), and the Bibliothèque Nationale du Quebec (BNQ).


Library and Information Science


This article is the publisher's version (American Library Association), previously appearing in Library Resources & Technical Services, Vol. 46, No. 4, Oct. 2002, pp. 138-149. Copyright 2002 American Library Association,