Sears List of Subject Headings

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Sears List of Subject Headings, 23rd Edition (2022)

ISBN: 978-1-63700-307-7
950 pages per volume
Pub. Date: July 2022
Price: $195.00

Sears List of Subject Headings, 22nd Edition (2018)

ISBN: 978-1-68217-234-6
946 pages per volume
Pub. Date: July 2018
Price: $195.00
Purchase this Edition

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Explore the New Edition of Sears List of Subject Headings in Print and Online. Access the Subject Headings you need for consistent cataloging in the Brand New Print Edition or in the New Online Database.

The online database is free for one year with your print purchase, so you can try them both out!

Take a Look at Some of the Key Features of the
NEW Online Database Here.

Click Here to Go to the Sears Online Database

Multiple Subscription Options
-Buy the Print Edition at $195 & Get One Year of Free Online Access
-Subscribe to the Online Database for $195 per year (Single User)
-Call (844) 630-6369 for Multiple User or Site-Wide Access for your public library district, college, university or school district.

The standard thesaurus of subject terminology for small and medium-sized libraries since 1923.

Since the first edition in 1923, the Sears List has served the unique needs of small and medium-sized libraries, suggesting headings appropriate for use in their catalogs and providing patterns and instructions for adding new headings as they are required. The goal of this new edition is to make library collections as easily available as possible to library users.

The Principles of the Sears List, which follows A History of the Sears List, is intended both as a statement of the theoretical foundations of the Sears List and as a concise introduction to subject cataloging in general. The List of Commonly Used Subdivisions, which follows the Principles, lists, for the purpose of easy reference, every subdivision for which there is a provision in the List, no matter how specialized. For every subdivision there is also an entry in the alphabetical List with full instructions for the use of that particular subdivision. There are also many examples of the use of subdivisions, emphasizing that the use of subdivisions is an essential method of expanding and adapting the List to a library’s particular needs.

The Sears List of Subject Headings is also available as a database and as MARC records for direct integration with a library’s ILS.

This essential resource features:

  1. Easy-to-use thesaurus-like format, with an emphasis on subject terms that makes sense to catalogers
  2. Helpful guidance on which subject terms to use for thousands of categories of information
  4. Scope Notes to clarify the specialized use of a term or to distinguish between terms that might be confused
  5. Accompanying list of canceled headings and when applicable, their replacements
  6. Complete inclusion of headings from the final (6th) edition of the Sears List of Subject Headings: Canadian Companion
  7. All headings are RDA compliant

This 23rd edition has been developed by a diverse team of public, school, and academic librarians who represent Sears to the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services Cataloging and Metadata Management Section-Subject Analysis Committees.


Always keeping in mind the ultimate goal of meeting the changing needs of library users, this edition includes hundreds of new subject headings corresponding to current literature and cataloger expectations, with a particular focus on expanding terms in the areas of:

  • Computer Science
  • Current Events
  • Diversity
  • Literature Genres
  • Music
  • Pop Culture
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Scope Notes
    As in previous editions, all the new and revised headings in this edition have been provided with scope notes where such notes are required. Scope notes are intended to clarify the specialized use of a term or to distinguish between terms that might be confused.

    The classification numbers in this edition of Sears are taken from the Abridged WebDewey, the continuously updated online version of the Abridged Dewey Decimal Classification. The numbers are intended only to direct the cataloger to a place in the DDC schedules where material on that subject is often found.

    It is only by being flexible and expandable that Sears List has been able over the years to fill the needs of a wide variety of libraries around the world.

    The Principles of Sears List is included in this volume, outlining the theoretical foundations of the Sears List and providing a concise introduction to subject cataloging in general. This introduction is recommended reading about the fundamentals of subject cataloging.