LGBTQ Resources

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Resources

General Policies | Subject Tracings

General policies

It is generally recognized in library scholarship that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) library resources have for many years been under-described in library catalogs, thereby minimizing user access. While this circumstance is true for non-fiction items published prior to 1990, which often received minimal subject headings with sometimes faulty content analysis and imprecise terminology, it is particularly pronounced for LGBTQ fiction and belles-lettres, little of which received any subject analysis prior to the mid-1990s. To help unlock LGBTQ material residing in the Yale University Library collections, a task force appointed in 2005 by the Associate University Librarian for Collection Development made a number of recommendations, including improved subject cataloging for all incoming LGBTQ material.

The Catalog Department currently has a de facto policy of cataloger’s discretion regarding subject cataloging for fiction and belles-lettres. In light of the LGBTQ task force recommendations, it is appropriate that Rare Book Team catalogers adopt a practice of providing at least minimal subject access for LGBTQ fiction and belles-lettres, as well as enhancing subject access for non-fiction when necessary. This policy should be applied only when the LGBTQ content of an item can be determined relatively quickly (eg. through dust jacket blurbs, curators’ notes, or reference to updated records in WorldCat or LC); it should not be applied in a manner that would significantly impact the cataloger’s productivity by requiring extensive research, particularly in the case of fiction and belles-lettres with ambiguous content. This policy also applies only to content and has no bearing on situations in which LGBTQ-identified authors write material that contains no LGBTQ-specific content. Copy catalogers are not expected to add subject headings unless specifically instructed. This would be the case for a collection of LGBTQ fiction and belles-lettres or as instructed by Beinecke for specific items.

Subject Tracings

In order to bring together all LGBTQ material in the Yale University Libraries, a local subject “LGBTQ resource” is made.

690   4 ‡a LGBTQ resource.

Library of Congress subject headings are assigned as appropriate.


650   0 Gay men, Black ‡z Florida ‡z Key West ‡v Fiction.

650   0 Coming out (Sexual orientation) ‡z Canada ‡v Fiction.

650   0 Lesbian teenagers ‡z New York (State) ‡v Fiction.

650   0 Transsexuals ‡z Europe ‡v Fiction.

650   0 AIDS (Disease) ‡x Patients ‡z New York (State) ‡z New York ‡v Fiction.

650   0 Lesbian mothers ‡z South Carolina ‡v Fiction.

650   0 Hispanic American lesbians ‡z California ‡v Fiction.

650   0 Gay men ‡x Social life and customs ‡v Fiction.