Subject Headings for Human Geography

ANSS Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee

Question/Answer on cataloging issues – November 2014

By Wade Kotter, Weber State University

Question: What subject headings are used for works on human geography and related subjects?

Answer:

The Association of American Geographers defines the branch of geography known as “human geography” as follows: “Human geography is concerned with the spatial aspects of human existence” (http://www.aag.org/cs/what_geographers_do). The primary subject heading for this broad field of study is Human geography, which may be subdivided geographically. Unfortunately, no scope note is provided for this heading. Interestingly, LCSH gives both Geography and Anthropology as broader terms for this heading, indicating recognition of the fact that research in human geography often transcends the boundary between geography and anthropology. In fact, Human geography is a replacement for the former subject heading “Anthropo-geography.” The only related term listed in LCSH for Human geography is Human ecology, which may also be subdivided geographically.

LCSH lists 32 narrower terms under the heading Human geography; for convenience of discussion they can be grouped as follows:

Group 1: Narrower terms related to the various sub-disciplines of human geography; scope notes, narrower terms, and related terms are listed below for these terms when available and all of these may be subdivided geographically except where noted:

Applied human geography

Communication in human geography

Cultural geography

NT Cultural landscapes

NT Feminist geography

Political geography (not subdivided geographically)

Scope Note: “Here are entered works on the branch of geography that deals with human governments, the boundaries and subdivisions of political units and the situations of cities. Works which take a historical approach to the geography of countries, regions, etc., at a particular period in the past are entered under Historical geography.” (http://lccn.loc.gov/sh85054025)

NT Electoral geography

NT Feminist political geography

Population geography

NT Emigration and immigration (not subdivided geographically)

NT Geodemographic

NT Migration, internal

NT Population density

NT Residential mobility

Psychoanalysis and human geography           

Group 2: Narrower terms reflecting diverse phenomena studied by human geographers; each of these terms may be subdivided geographically except where noted:

Human beings – Migrations (not subdivided geographically)

[Note: A geographical subdivision may be used under Human beings before the Migrations subdivision is applied, e.g. Human beings – United States – Migrations]

Human settlements

NT Cities and towns

NT Coastal settlements

NT Housing

NT Infrastructure (Economics)

NT Regional planning

NT Undersea colonies

Human territoriality

Land settlement patterns

Regionalism

RT Interregionalism

NT Regional disparities

NT Regional economics

 Group 3: Narrower terms referring to various diasporas (dispersions of people from their place of origin); the scope notes provided in LCSH for each of these terms follow the pattern of the one given for the first listed heading and these headings are not subdivided geographically:

African diaspora

Scope Note: “Here are entered works dealing with the dispersion of Black Africans to countries outside of the African Continent.” (http://lccn.loc.gov/sh91005631)

Armenian diaspora

Asian diaspora

Azerbaijani diaspora

Basque diaspora

Chinese diaspora

Congolese (Democratic Republic) diaspora

East Indian diaspora

Hindu diaspora

Iranian diaspora

Jewish diaspora

Korean diaspora

Kurdish diaspora

Muslim diaspora

Sikh diaspora

Somali diaspora

South Asian diaspora

Tamil diaspora

Ukrainian diaspora

Vietnamese diaspora

In addition, LCSH provides a number of narrower terms under the general heading Geography for sub-disciplines of geography whose subject matter overlaps to some degree with human geography but which are not listed as narrower or related terms under the heading Human geography; scope notes are provided below when available:

Agricultural geography (may subdivide geographically)

Commercial geography (not subdivided geographically)

Scope Note: “Here are entered works on the branch of geography that deals with commodities according to their places of origin and their paths of transportation. Works on the commercial geography of particular countries, cities, etc., are entered under the name of the place subdivided by Commerce.” (http://lccn.loc.gov/sh85054015)

Economic geography (not subdivided geographically)

Scope Note: “Here are entered works on the branch of geography that deals with the relations of physical and economic conditions to the production and distribution of goods and services. Works on the economic geography of particular countries, cities, etc., are entered under the name of the place subdivided by Economic conditions.”(http://lccn.loc.gov/sh85054016)

Environmental geography (may subdivide geographically)

Historical geography (not subdivided geographically)

Scope Note: “Here are entered works which take a historical approach to the geography of countries, regions, etc., at a particular period in the past. Works on the branch of geography that deals with human governments, the boundaries and subdivisions of political units and the situations of cities are entered under Political geography.” (http://lccn.loc.gov/sh85054019) [Note: This term may also be used as a subdivision under places, e.g. Iran – Historical geography]

Local geography (not subdivided geographically)

Medical geography (may subdivide geographically)

Scope Note: “Here are entered works on the geographical distribution of diseases, and on pathology in relation to conditions of geography and climate. Works on the occurrence of a particular disease in a locality are entered under the name of the disease subdivided by the name of the place. Works on the practice, history, or conditions of medicine in any particular locality are entered under Medicine–[local subdivision], e.g. Medicine–Germany.” (http://lccn.loc.gov/sh85082940)

Military geography (may subdivide geographically)

Rural geography (may subdivide geographically)

Transportation geography (may subdivide geographically)

Urban geography (may subdivide geographically)

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