Llista d'encapçalaments de matèria en català
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The Llista d'encapçalaments de matèria en català (LEMAC) is a Catalan language controlled vocabulary that includes subject headings – linguistic expression (a term or a phrase)- used by cataloguers to represent the thematic content of documents – a concept, event, name, or title- and that allows users to make a search in a catalogue, bibliography or index. LEMAC is created and maintained by the Servei de Normalització Bibliogràfica of the National Library of Catalonia (Biblioteca de Catalunya), and it is applied by librarians to the documents being catalogued, so that users can search items through access points other than authors, titles or publishers. Subject headings also allow users to retrieve headings together when the topic is the same and, at the same time, they show the topics covered in a given collection. LEMAC was developed following the spirit of the Llei 4/1993 del Sistema Bibliotecari de Catalunya (Catalan Library System Law) in order to “gather in a same union catalogue the bibliographic references integrating the different library resources of the Sistema Bibliotecari de Catalunya”.
History and evolution
The Llista d’encapçalaments de matèria en català is the result of the translation of the Lista de encabezamientos de materia para bibliotecas by Carmen Rovira and Jorge Aguayo, and of the adaptation of the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). LEMAC was initially created by the Institut Català de Bibliografia in 1983 and continued later by the National Library of Catalonia. The Lista de encabezamientos de materia para bibliotecas is the Hispanoamerican adaptation of LCSH and was of common use in Spain when the Catalan Government decided to translate it to Catalan language at the late eighties. There are other subject headings lists that are also used or searched to create the LEMAC authority records, such as the Répertoire de vedettes-matière of the Université de Laval (Laval RVM), which is the Canadian accepted rule by the National Library of Canada and, above all, the, inspired on the Canadian version, which is the official subject headings authority list in France. In December 1999, the Llista d’encapçalaments de matèria en català (LEMAC) was codified to machine readable format. In April 2002, it was made available online through the National Library of Catalonia website. LEMAC subject authority records may be viewed in thesaurus format or in MARC21 code.
Maintenance and update
The unceasing introduction of new subject headings and the continuous need to revise and update the headings translated from the Hispanoamerican list – when they are used for the first time- in order to adapt them to LCSH, and the constant changes of the relationship’s system among authorised headings (they also must be adapted to the current policies of Library of Congress) is the reason why the LEMAC is like an organism which grows and changes permanently. The database content is updated monthly or every two months.
In January 2009, the Bibliographic Standardization Service of the National Library of Catalonia began to publish the Butlletí d’actualitzacions de la LEMAC, updated also monthly or every two months. This bulletin contains the list of the new subject headings added o modified until the date of publication.
Though the economic means to the LEMAC ‘s creation and maintenance are infinitely much lower than those of the Library of Congress, the LEMAC tries to take advantage of the American investment in order to build a Catalan encyclopaedic subject heading list which tries to cover the needs of the Catalan library system and to include terms that reflect our cultural bias.
- 4_1993, de 18 de març, del sistema bibliotecari de Catalunya.pdf Llei 4/1193, de 18 de març, del sistema bibliotecari de Catalunya
- Lista de encabezamientos de materia para bibliotecas, comp. Carmen Rovira y Jorge Aguayo (Washington : Organización de los Estados Americanos, 1967)
- Répertoire de vedettes-matière. (Québec: Bibliothèque de l’Université Laval)
- RAMEAU: Répertoire d’autorité matière encyclopédique et alphabétique unifié. (Paris : Bibliothèque nationale de France)
- D. Lamarca, "La Biblioteca de Catalunya en el sistema bibliotecari de Catalunya". BID, núm. 21 (juny 2004)]