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Improvements to the Senate House Library and the School of Advanced Study library catalogues


Senate House Library and the School of Advanced Study libraries have recently completed an important project to update their 1m+ catalogue records.

Authority fields are a key component of the metadata that makes up the records of each item listed in our Library catalogues. Although they are invisible to users, they determine how different records are linked together so that a search will produce the most relevant results. Through the project, these fields have been brought into line with Library of Congress subject headings – the most widely adopted subject indexing language in the world.

The main impact of updating our authority fields in this way is to improve the discoverability of our collections. Searches on our catalogues will, as a result of this change, give more accurate results, with material previously missed included and extraneous material omitted. The upgrade also means that some outmoded or offensive terms in our existing authority fields have been overwritten – although they have not been removed from other parts of the catalogue record, such as the title.

For more information about the project, contact the SHL Metadata and Discovery Manager, Larissa Erzinclioglu.