Subject Headings for Clothing Accessories

ANSS Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee

Question/Answer on Cataloging Issues – October 2018

Question: What subject headings are applied to materials about clothing accessories?

By Carolyn J. McCallum, Wake Forest University

The March 2018 cataloging Q&A investigated the Library of Congress (LC) subject headings catalogers apply to materials on clothing and costume. Although the findings presented then were extensive, they were not exhaustive. They did not, for example, include LC subject headings applicable to clothing accessories (e.g., jewelry, scarves, purses, belts), neckwear, footwear, and headgear. This Q&A addresses the specific subject headings applied to these categories of clothing and costume.

  • Belt toggles
  • Belts (Clothing)
    • Belt buckles
    • Sam Browne belts – Per Wikipedia, “The Sam Browne belt is a wide belt, usually leather, supported by a narrower strap passing diagonally over the right shoulder. It is most often a part of a military or police uniform.”
  • Buttons
    • Button covers
    • Celluloid buttons – Per https://hobbylark.com/collecting/Vintage-Button-Guide-Ways-to-Indentify-Antique-Buttons, “In the mid 1800’s, a British Chemist named Alexander Parkes developed celluloid using cellulose which is derivative of plants, more specifically wood and cotton fibers. Celluloid buttons became very popular during the late 1900s through the 1920s. They can be opaque, transparent or both and they come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Some had metal on the back. Some Celluloids were made to imitate other materials like wood and ivory. … Though it made great buttons there was one downside to Celluoid plastic. The substance is flammable.”
    • Colored glass buttons
      • Black glass buttons
    • Livery buttons – Per http://www.bysonbuttons.com/Deb/LiveryArticle/LIVERY%20Final.pdf, “Typically depicting heraldic designs of the family, livery buttons were worn on uniforms (livery) of servants and only occasionally by the owner. Major types include achievements, and crests; there are also badges, initials and monograms. Badges are a relatively rare early form of livery button originally used to display a family motto. Later ones displayed decorative insignia only. … Most livery buttons were made of metal, but horn, pearl, and glass mounted in metal exist. When the master of the house died, metal buttons were darkened for a period of mourning.”
    • Metal buttons
    • Pin-back buttons – Per Wikipedia, “A pin-back button or pinback button, pin button, button badge, or simply pin-back or badge, is a button or badge that can be temporarily fastened to the surface of a garment using a safety pin, or a pin formed from wire, a clutch or other mechanism. This fastening mechanism is anchored to the back side of a button-shaped metal disk, either flat or concave, which leaves an area on the front of the button to carry an image or printed message. The word is commonly associated with a campaign button used in the United States and abroad during a political campaign.”
      • Campaign buttons
  • Dress accessories
    • Eyewear
      • Eyeglasses
        • Eyeglass frames
        • Pince-nez – Per Wikipedia, “Pince-nez is a style of glasses, popular in the 19th century, that are supported without earpieces, by pinching the bridge of the nose.”
      • Eyeglasses, Protective
        • Safety glasses
        • Sunglasses
      • Google Glass (Computer)
    • Fans
      • Flabella – Per Wikipedia, “a flabellum (plural flabella), in Christian liturgical use, is a fan made of metal, leather, silk, parchment or feathers, intended to keep away insects from the consecrated Body and Blood of Christ and from the priest, as well as to show honor.”
      • Painted fans
    • Handbags
      • Clutch bags
      • Mesh handbags
      • Muffs
      • Plastic handbags
      • Tote bags
    • Handkerchiefs
      • Bandannas
    • Jewelry – Under ethnic groups, one can add the subdivision Jewelry. For example: Zuni Indians—Jewelry.
      • Anklets (Ornaments)
      • Architect-designed jewelry
      • Artist-designed jewelry
      • Bead mandalas
      • Beaded jewelry
      • Bracelets
        • Bangle (Sikhism)
        • Charm bracelets
        • Cuff bracelets
        • Diamond bracelets
        • Friendship bracelets – Per Wikipedia, “a friendship bracelet is a decorative bracelet given by one person to another as a symbol of friendship. Friendship bracelets are often handmade, usually of embroidery floss or thread and are a type of macramé.”
        • Identification bracelets
        • Silver bracelets
        • Watch bracelets
      • Bridal crowns
      • Bronze jewelry
      • Brooches – See Also: Fibulas (Jewelry). Per archaeologywordsmith.com, a fibula was “in antiquity, a clasp, buckle, or brooch of various designs, usually shaped like a modern safety pin. It was often used for fastening a draped garment such as a toga or cloak, made of bronze, gold, silver, ivory, etc.; and consisted of a bow, pin, and catch.”
        • Christmas tree brooches
        • Cruciform brooches – Per archaeologywordsmith.com, a cruciform brooch is “a bow-brooch with a small headplate and long footplate. From the headplate protrude three knobs; the footplate is normally shaped into an animal head with eyes and nostrils. Found in Jutland and Holstein from the late 4th century. During the 5th and 6th centuries AD cruciform brooches spread across the North Sea to Britain.”
        • Ring brooches – See Wikipedia’s article on Celtic brooches.
      • Cameos
        • Portrait medallions
      • Ceramic jewelry
      • Chains (Jewelry)
      • Charms (Ornaments)
      • Chatelaines (Jewelry) – Per Wikipedia, “a chatelaine is a decorative belt hook or clasp worn at the waist with a series of chains suspended from it. Each chain is mounted with useful household appendages such as scissors, thimbles, watches, keys, vinaigrette, and household seals.”
      • Christmas jewelry
      • Coral jewelry
      • Costume jewelry
        • Copper jewelry
        • Enamel jewelry
        • Plastic jewelry
        • Porcelain jewelry
        • Rhinestone jewelry
      • Crown jewels
      • Cuff links
      • Cut steel jewelry – Per Wikipedia, cut steel jewelry “is a form of jewellery composed of steel that was popular between the 18th century and the end of the 1930s. The basic design of cut steel jewellery is a thin metal baseplate onto which closely placed steel studs were riveted. … The idea behind the design was that the polished steel faces would catch the light and sparkle in a similar way to the then highly fashionable diamonds.”
      • Diamond jewelry
      • Earrings
      • Ethnic jewelry
      • Garnet jewelry
      • Glass jewelry
      • Gold jewelry
        • Gold rings
      • Hair ornaments
        • Hairpins
          • Bobby pins
      • Hairwork jewelry – Per Wikipedia, “hairwork, or jewelry made of human hair, has appeared throughout the history of craft work, particularly those made to be used for private worship or mourning. From the Middle Ages through the early twentieth century, memorial hair jewelry remained common. Although hair jewelry existed prior to the Victorian era, it was this period that saw it flourish as a trade and private craft in mourning jewelry. The Victorian period saw a rise in mourning practices due to its popularity through Queen Victoria, and wearing hair jewelry was seen as a form of carrying one’s sentiments for the deceased.”
      • Hatpins
        • Hatpin holders
      • Hip-hop jewelry – Used for Bling-bling (Jewelry).
      • Islamic jewelry – Used for Muslim jewelry.
      • Jade jewelry
      • Jadeite jewelry
      • Jewelry sets – Used for Jewelry matched sets; Jewelry parures; Matched sets (Jewelry); Matching sets (Jewelry); Parures (Jewelry); Sets, Jewelry.
      • Labrets – Per Wikipedia, “a labret is one form of body piercing. Taken literally, it is any type of adornment that is attached to the lip (labrum). However, the term usually refers to a piercing that is below the bottom lip, above the chin.”
      • Lockets
      • Marcasite jewelry
      • Mourning jewelry – See Hairwork jewelry above.
      • Necklaces
        • Leis
      • Nose ornaments
      • Nose rings
      • Paper jewelry
      • Paste jewelry – Per http://www.langantiques.com/university/Paste_Jewelry, “paste jewelry is costume jewelry, mainly set with colored and/or colorless glass. During the eighteenth century with the vogue for faceted gems and diamonds, the demand for paste jewelry as an economically viable and stylistically varied substitution reached its height.”
      • Pearl jewelry
      • Pendants (Jewelry)
      • Platinum jewelry
      • Rings
        • Claddagh rings
        • Cramp-rings – “Per Wikipedia, “cramp-rings are rings anciently worn as a cure for cramp and “falling-sickness” or epilepsy. The legend is that the first one was presented to Edward the Confessor by a pilgrim on his return from Jerusalem, its miraculous properties being explained to the king. At his death it passed into the keeping of the abbot of Westminster, by whom it was used medically and was known as St Edwards Ring. From that time the belief grew that the successors of Edward inherited his powers, and that the rings blessed by them worked cures.”
        • Engagement rings
        • Islamic rings
        • Signet rings
        • Wedding rings
      • Shell jewelry
      • Silver jewelry
        • Islamic silver jewelry
      • Stickpins
      • Sweetheart jewelry – “Per http://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/2014/02/the-fashion-patriotism-and-romance-of-world-war-ii-sweetheart-jewelry.html, “sweetheart jewelry first became popular during World War I, as a means of connection between wives, mothers and sweethearts back home and the men fighting overseas. It was one of many things that soldiers either made or purchased, along with pillowcase covers, handkerchiefs, compacts, and the like. But while the practice began back then, the concept really took off during the Second World War. Sweetheart jewelry of World War II vintage was made of a variety of materials. Due to the rationing placed on metals during the war, many of the items were made from alternate materials such as wood and plastic. Sterling silver was not rationed, so it was used to produce better quality jewelry.”
      • Textile jewelry
      • Tiaras
      • Turquoise jewelry
      • Wire jewelry
      • Wooden jewelry
    • Millinery – See Also: Hats.
      • Artificial flowers
    • Ornamental combs
  • Footwear
    • Baby booties
    • Ballet slippers – Used for Ballet shoes.
    • Boots
      • Cowboy boots
      • Felt boots
      • Kamiks – Used for Sealskin boots. Per Wikipedia, “mukluks or kamik are a soft boot, traditionally made of reindeer (caribou) skin or sealskin, and worn by Arctic aboriginal people, including the Inuit, Iñupiat, and Yupik.”
      • Riding boots
    • Plastic footwear
    • Rubber footwear
    • Shoes
      • Athletic shoes
        • Running shoes
        • Sneakers – Used for Daps; Gym shoes; Plim soles; Plimsolls; Runners (Athletic shoes); Tackies; Takkies; Tennies; Tennis shoes; Trainers (Athletic shoes); Training shoes.
        • Soccer shoes – Used for Football boots (Soccer); Soccer boots.
      • Bast shoes – Per Wikipedia, “bast shoes are shoes made primarily from bast — fiber taken from the bark of trees such as linden or birch. They are a kind of basket, woven and fitted to the shape of a foot. Bast shoes are an obsolete traditional footwear of the forest areas of Northern Europe, formerly worn by poorer members of the Finnic peoples, Balts, Russians and Belarussians. They were easy to manufacture, but not durable.”
      • Children’s shoes
        • Buster Brown shoes
      • Clogs – Used for Wooden shoes.
      • Espadrilles
      • Loafers (Shoes)
      • Moccasins
      • Orthopedic shoes
      • Platform shoes
      • Pumps (Shoes)
      • Sabots – Per Wikipedia, “a sabot is a clog from France or surrounding countries such as Belgium or Italy. Sabots are whole feet clogs.”
      • Safety shoes – Used for Protective footwear.
      • Sandals
        • Thongs (Sandals) – Used for Flip-flops (Sandals); Go-aheads (Sandals); Zori.
      • Women’s shoes
    • Spurs
  • Headgear
    • Caps (Headgear)
    • Crowns
    • Earmuffs
    • Galeri – Per Wikipedia, “A galero (plural: galeri; from Latin: galerum) is a broad-brimmed hat with tasselated strings worn by clergy in the Catholic Church. Over the centuries, the red galero was restricted to use by individual cardinals while such other colors as green and violet were reserved to clergy of other ranks and styles.”
    • Hats
      • Baby bonnets
      • Bowler hats
      • Felt hats
      • Hatter’s fur
      • Kamelaukions – Per merriam-webster.com, a kamelaukion is “a tall brimless hat worn by priests and monks in some Eastern rites.”
      • Panama hats
      • Safety hats – Used for Safety helmets.
        • Bicycle helmets
        • Fire helmets
        • Flying helmets – Used for Air pilots’ helmets; Aviation headgear; Aviators’ headgear.
        • Motorcycle helmets
      • Women’s hats
    • Headbands
    • Headdresses
    • Helmets
      • Football helmets
      • Riot helmets
      • Safety hats
    • Hoods (Headgear) – Used for Cowls (Headgear).
    • Kerchiefs – See Also: Hijab (Islamic clothing).
      • Bandannas
    • Mantillas – Per Wikipedia, “a mantilla is a traditional Spanish lace or silk veil or shawl worn over the head and shoulders, often over a high comb called a peineta, popular with women in Spain. It is also worn, without the peineta, by Eastern Orthodox women in Russia, often white, with the ends crossed over neck and draped over the opposite shoulder. The shape, design and use are different from an ordinary veil.”
    • Miters – Per Wikipedia, “the mitre or miter, is a type of headgear now known as the traditional, ceremonial head-dress of bishops and certain abbots in traditional Christianity. Mitres are worn in the Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic Church, as well as in the Anglican Communion, some Lutheran churches, and also bishops and certain other clergy in the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church also wears a mitre during important ceremonies such as the Episcopal Consecration.”
    • Tiaras
    • Turbans
    • Veils – See Also: Hijab (Islamic clothing).
    • Wigs
      • Theatrical wigs
  • Neckwear
    • Collars
      • Dog collars
        • Electronic dog training collars
      • Horse collars
      • Lapels
      • Livery collars – Per Wikipedia, “a livery collar or chain of office is a collar or heavy chain, usually of gold, worn as insignia of office or a mark of fealty or other association in Europe from the Middle Ages onwards.”
      • Radio collars – Also known as tracking collars, radio collars “are collars used as a radio beacon to track animal migration for research” (Wikipedia).
    • Cowls (Neckwear)
    • Necklaces
      • Leis
    • Neckties – Used for Cravats; Ties (Neckwear).
      • Bolo ties
      • Bow ties
    • Scarves – See Also: Stoles (Clothing).
      • Kerchiefs
        • Bandannas
  • Sashes (Clothing)
    • Obi
  • Suspenders

It should be noted that many of the subject headings and their narrower terms listed above can be further subdivided geographically, topically, chronologically, and by genre. For example:

            Brooches, Prehistoric

            Buttons—Collectors and collecting—Great Britain—Catalogs

            Crown jewels—France—History—19th century—Exhibitions

            Eyeglasses in literature

            Sneakers—Social aspects—United States.

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