- 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.