Monthly Archives: September 2012

There’s NOT a subject heading for that!?: audio crossovers

Fall arrived today even if it is officially a few days off. What better than a chilly, dark, rainy day to get my blogs back up and running! (Readers of my book blog also experienced a hiatus–too nice of an August!)

Usually this segment covers subject headings that I found in the course of my work cataloging e-books and streaming videos. However, as catalogers, we also contend with fitting items into the best places possible when they lack a defined spot. Same goes for sub. heads that we cobble various ones together to represent the topic as best as we can. This was one of those times.

“Audio crossovers” is not a valid sub. head. in LCSH.

For cataloging The design of active crossovers by Douglas Self, I felt that there had to be more LCSH to consider for the record:


In LC’s Online Catalog (side note: their updated site was having too many problems so they revert back to the previous one and I’ve not had the issues that the new one experienced; it’s an awesome new design if they can get the bugs out!), the item only lists “Electric filters, Active $x Design and construction” for the one sub. head. And merely 7 other records have this same heading, though there are many more variants and lots with just the base heading.

Here’s the LC Authority File record for it:


At first, this seems inadequate when it comes to the book’s topic. Using Wikipedia, we learn that an audio crossover is a type of electronic filter, so this is a slightly broader category. Yet, looking at the other 7 records in the LC Online Catalog with this exact sub. head., it is clear that those books focus on audio crossovers as well.

While it’s not perfect, it is the best LCSH offers right now. And considering all the variations for this sub. head., to propose a narrower term, or terms, then have someone parse out the items that should be in the boarder term and those into the narrower ones is a lot of work. Would it be worth it, probably, but I don’t know for sure.

The newness of the topic for this item was a challenge for me. That’s the other thing, for people, like me, who don’t know about a topic, the difficulty increases for cataloging it since I must figure out what the item is about then find sub. heads and a classification number.

Cataloging can be straight-forward or a balance between searching out and settling. The second makes for more interesting work but quite easily can lead to frustration or confusion.

Do you know about audio crossovers or electric filters?

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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Uncategorized


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