H 620 Chronological Headings and Subdivisions


BACKGROUND: This instruction sheet explains general practices relating to chronological headings and subdivisions. Cataloging practices for specific subjects are explained in instruction sheets for those subjects and in the appropriate lists of free-floating and pattern subdivisions (H 1095-H 1200). For instructions relating to headings and subdivisions for events, see H 1592. For dates in subdivisions for specific events, see H 1078. For abbreviations relating to dates, see Appendix A, sec. 8. For capitalization of terms attached to dates, see Appendix B, sec. 12. For classification and time periods, see F 320.


1. Methods of expressing chronological focus in subject headings. The chronological aspect of subjects may be expressed in a variety of ways depending on the patterns that have evolved in the various fields. The methods used include general headings for time periods, headings inherently chronological because of the concept expressed, adjectival qualifiers, date qualifiers, and subdivisions.


a. General headings for time periods. To express the concept of a time period not limited by subject, certain general headings for time periods have been established. Examples:


150 ## $a Iron age

150 ## $a Renaissance

150 ## $a Eighteenth century

150 ## $a Nineteen ninety-one, A.D.


b. Headings with inherent or implied chronological concepts. Some headings are limited to a specific time period due to the nature of the subject expressed, such as historical movements, artistic styles, or technological developments. Examples:


150 ## $a Post-communism

150 ## $a Painting, Rococo

150 ## $a Silent films


c. Headings with adjectival qualifier. Certain broad time periods related to a subject may be expressed with the addition of an adjectival qualifier to the subject. These headings occur as inverted headings with the adjective following the subject. Examples:


150 ## $a Greek drama, Modern

150 ## $a Literature, Ancient

150 ## $a Science, Medieval


d. Headings with date qualifier. Certain headings for events have dates added to the heading to express the time of occurrence. Examples:


150 ## $a Culpeper's Rebellion, 1677-1679

150 ## $a Pan Am Flight 103 Bombing Incident, 1988


e. Headings with subdivisions. Time period may be expressed by chronological subdivision in a variety of subdivision forms. The location of the subdivision in the subject heading may also vary.


(1) Form of the subdivision. Several differing methods of formulating chronological subdivisions may occur, depending on the specificity desired.


unspecified starting date:

150 ## $a Libraries $x History $y To 400

150 ## $a Brazilian literature $y To 1800

151 ## $a Syria $x History $y To 333 B.C.


unspecified ending date:

150 ## $a World politics $y 1989-

150 ## $a Shinto $x History $y 1945-


unspecified starting or ending date (occurs only for geological periods):

150 ## $a Geology, Stratigraphic $y Devonian

150 ## $a Paleobotany $y Jurassic


specific century or centuries:

150 ## $a Wood-engraving $y 17th century

151 ## $a Sicily (Italy) $x History $y 15th-18th centuries


specific date spans with explanatory words:

150 ## $a Christian art and symbolism $y Renaissance, 1450-1600

151 ## $a Great Britain $x History $y George V, 1910-1936


specific date spans without explanatory words:

150 ## $a Music $y 500-1400

150 ## $a Jews $x History $y 1789-1945

151 ## $a China $x Civilization $y 221 B.C.-960 A.D.


single date with explanatory words:

151 ## $a Great Britain $x History $y Edward VIII, 1936

151 ## $a Panama $x History $y American Invasion, 1989


single date without explanatory words:

150 ## $a Depressions $y 1929

150 ## $a Solar eclipses $y 1854


Note: Some headings for events are formulated with subdivisions that include single dates or date spans without the subdivision -History, for example, Vesuvius (Italy)-Eruption, 79; Anderson, Terry A., 1949- -Captivity, 1985-1991. These subdivisions are considered to be topical subdivisions qualified by date. They use subfield code $x for topical subdivision instead of subfield code $y for chronological subdivision.


(2) Location of chronological subdivisions in the subject heading. Chronological subdivisions may appear after several different types of headings or subdivisions in the subject heading string. They may also be followed by different types of subdivisions. The preferred practice for subdivision order places the chronological subdivision after topical and geographic subdivisions and before form subdivisions. Existing subject heading strings varying from the recommended order are being changed on a case-by-case basis.


following a main heading:

650 #0 $a Economic history $y 1918-1945.

650 #0 $a English language $y Early modern, 1500-1700.

650 #0 $a Philosophy, Dutch $y 20th century.


following the subdivision -History (most common method):

650 #0 $a Glassware $x History $y 19th century.

651 #0 $a Belgium $x History $y To 1555.

610 20 $a Stanford University $x History $y 19th century.


following a topical or geographical subdivision:

651 #0 $a Germany $x Religious life and customs $y Middle Ages, 843-1517.

600 10 $a Shakespeare, William, $d 1564-1616 $x Stage history $y 1800-1950.

650 #0 $a Music $z Italy $y 20th century.


following a heading with a broader chronological adjective:

650 #0 $a Literature, Modern $y 15th and 16th centuries.

650 #0 $a Civilization, Medieval $y 14th century.


followed by a form subdivision:

650 #0 $a Authors, African $y 20th century $v Interviews.

651 #0 $a Germany $x History $y 1933-1945 $v Juvenile literature.


followed by a geographical subdivision:

650 #0 $a Depressions $y 1929 $z United States.


followed by a topical subdivision:

650 #0 $a English language $y Early modern, 1500-1700 $x Pronunciation.

651 #0 $a Europe $x History $y 20th century $x Study and teaching.




2. Assignment of chronological headings and subdivisions.


a. Content of work and date of imprint. Assign headings for chronological periods to reflect the contents of the work, not the time of publication. Earlier practices where imprint date was reflected in subdivisions, primarily to break up large files, have been discontinued. The free-floating form subdivision -Early works to 1800 may be used in some cases to segregate older works on a topic. For specific instructions, see H 1576.


b. When to omit chronological subdivision.

(1) Topics limited to a specific century. Do not assign a chronological subdivision for a century when the topic is limited by its nature to a specific century.



650 #0 $a Dive bombers $x History.

[not 650 #0 $a Dive bombers $x History $y 20th century.]



(2) Other situations where chronological subdivisions are omitted. Do not assign chronological subdivisions where they have not been established or are not covered by free-floating provisions, for example, after certain subdivisions such as -Description and travel.


c. General headings for centuries, years, and other periods. For certain periods of time, separate headings are established, for example, Renaissance; Eighteenth century; Nineteen thirties; Nineteen sixty-eight, A.D. Assign these headings only to general works on the time period not limited to specific topics.




Title: The illustrated encyclopedia of the Renaissance.

650 #0 $a Renaissance $v Encyclopedias.


Title: And now the news, 1945.

650 #0 $a Nineteen forty-five, A.D. $v Chronology.


For instructions on use of these headings for forecasts, see H 1628.


For works on specific time periods related to specific topics, assign headings for the topics with appropriate established or free-floating chronological subdivisions.




Title: Before the deluge : a portrait of Berlin in the 1920s.

651 #0 $a Berlin (Germany) $x History $y 1918-1945.

651 #0 $a Berlin (Germany) $x Intellectual life $y 20th century.


Title: San Antonio in the eighteenth century.

651 #0 $a San Antonio (Tex.) $x History $y 18th century.


Title: The nickel and dime decade : American popular culture during the 1930s.

650 #0 $a Popular culture $z United States $x History $y 20th century.

651 #0 $a United States $x Social life and customs $y 1918-1945.


d. Doubling of headings. In some cases when chronological subdivision is not permitted or is restricted, additional headings may be assigned to express the time period discussed. For specific instructions on this practice see the instruction sheet for the specific topic or subdivision, for example, H 1370, Civilization; H 1530, Description and travel; H 1629, Foreign relations; H 1675, Influence of one topic on another.



Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings

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