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Brown University Scholarly Resources

Books and Articles

Cataloging Code of Ethics

prepared by the Cataloging Ethics Steering Committee

Ethical Questions in Name Authority Control

is now available as an e-book (Brown login required)


With thanks to Wendy Sistrunk, Head of Cataloging & Metadata Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City

Lo, Grace. " 'Aliens' vs. Catalogers: Bias in the Library of Congress Subject Heading," Legal Reference Services Quarterly (vol. 38, issue 4, 2019); pp. 170-196.

Olson, Hope A. "Difference, Culture and Change: The Untapped Potential of LCSH," Legal Reference Services Quarterly (vol. 29, issue 1-2, 2009); pp. 53-71.

Drabinski, Emily. "Teaching the Radical Catalog," Radical Cataloging: Essays at the Front, ed. K.R. Roberto. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, April 2008; pp. 198-205.

Howard, Sara and Steven A. Knowlton. "Browsing Through Bias: The Library of Congress Classification and Subject Headings for African American Studies and LGBTQIA Studies"  Library Trends, (vol. 67, no. 1, Summer 2018); pp. 74-88

ORBIS Cascade Alliance. Alliance Cataloging Standing Group.

"Providing Alternative Subject Headings for Controversial Library of Congress Subject Headings in the Alliance Shared ILS": Discussion Paper. Rev. Nov. 4, 2019

Recommendation to Implement an Alliance-wide Alternative to the LCSH "Illegal Aliens" Subject Terminology (June 2020)

Ros, Amanda. "The Bias Hiding in Your Library." The Conversation, March 20, 2019.

Hobart, Elizabeth. Recording Creator Characteristics for Native American Authors: An Analysis of Bibliographic Records

SAA's Protocols for Native American Archival Materials

Slideshow: Incorporating subject headings for indigenous peoples/First Nations

(Speakers: Stacy Allison-Cassin, PhD, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Adolfo R. Tarango, Head, UBC Library Technical Services; Acting Head, Asian Library, The University of British Columbia)

The Homosaurus is an international linked data vocabulary of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) terms.


#critcat is short for critical cataloging, a group of people interested in discussing the ethical implications of library metadata, cataloging, and classification standards, practice, and infrastructure.


Brown University currently has 1,362 items that use the heading

"Illegal Aliens."


Change the Subject (2019) is a 54-minute documentary film about a group of Dartmouth students who challenged anti-immigrant language in the Library of Congress subject headings. 

Watch the FilmWatch the Trailer


The Dartmouth Library is pleased to provide free streaming access to Change the Subject (2019), and to a digital collection of materials related to the original action and to the production of the film.

We also invite you to contact the filmmakers here. Let us know if you would like to schedule a screening, express feedback about the project or this site, or share how you have incorporated Change the Subject into your professional development or teaching. 


Released under CC BY-SA 4.0