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Improving Subject Access to Resources on Oregon Indian Tribes Public Deposited

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  • In 2017, Oregon State University embarked on a project to ensure that library resources about Oregon Indian tribes are discoverable in online systems. With a focus on subject access in its local catalog and in OCLC’s WorldCat database, this ongoing project is comprised of two main components. First, because not all Oregon Indian tribes and bands are represented in the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), subject heading proposals were prepared for the missing tribes and bands. As of November, 2018, seven proposals have been approved by the Library of Congress and another seven lined up for submission. Extensive “used for” terms have been gathered from published sources while input from nearby tribes has aided in selection of the preferred tribal name. Second, bibliographic records for resources about Oregon Indian tribes were retrieved from WorldCat and their subject headings analyzed for specificity and accuracy. After analysis, subject headings for Oregon Indian tribes were often added or removed to improve retrieval. For example, the overly-broad subject heading “Indians of North America - Oregon” was often replaced with the names of specific tribes. Tabulating the types of changes made to subject headings revealed the magnitude of the need for better subject access to Indian tribes. This project will ultimately inform our approach to resources on Indian tribes in other states.
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  • Seattle, Washington, USA
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