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Scope: This procedure guides catalogers on how to search and apply FAST headings to E/L=7 records. It also explains how to add non-authorized headings.

To Logon to FAST:

Source: FAST: Faceted application of subject terminology, principles and application by Lois Mai Chan and Edward T. O’Neill.

Contacts: Ardeen White

Unit: Cataloging

Date last reviewed: June 2020

Date of next review: June 2021


Types of Headings
Notes Concerning Application
FAST quick reference chart to some confusing headings
If You Need to Assign a Name Heading that is not in FAST
If You Need to Assign a Topical Subject Heading String that is not in FAST
If You Need to Assign a Geographical Name that is not in FAST
Creating and using a "Favorites" button in browser for frequently used FAST terms

Types of headings - all are repeatable:

600:: Personal name

610:: Corporate name  

611:: Event name

630:: Uniform/Preferred title

648:: Chronological term

650:: Topical term

651:: Geographic name

655:: Form/Genre

  • If a topic belongs to different facets, separate headings in each facet, including form/genre, are assigned.
  • Example of coding:


_7 |a Minorities |x Economic conditions |2 fast |0 (OCoLC)fst01023115



    1. Three types of indexes: keyword, phrase, and other
    2. Wild cards – note none are allowed in the 1st three character

●# substitutes for a single character

●? substitutes for multiple characters

●* is used for truncation

  1. Advanced searching allows explicit Boolean searching and specific indexes.
  2. Allows browsing just like Voyager and OCLC.  Useful when actual spelling or form is not certain.
  3. Sample search results:

Click on ‘Heading,’ ‘Facet’, ‘Uses’ to sort.  Sorting on ‘Heading’ is most useful to see the heading and related sub-headings.  Clicking on the specific headings brings up the authority record.

Notes Concerning Application:

650:: Topical term

  1. Works on a single topic – use heading that matches most closely the topic
  2. Works on 2-3 topics – if 2 or 3 subjects are treated separately, use a precise heading for each topic.  If there is no precise heading, use heading for each subject topic
  3. Work on 4+ topics – Use a general heading for the broader concept, OR use a separate heading for each topic.
  4. Topics with multiple concepts – use a pre-coordinated heading if available.  If none available, use separate headings for individual concepts
  5. Fictitious, legendary, and mythological characters, named animals, imaginary places and organizations, and names of geologic periods are considered topical. 
  6. Form/Genre if about (see 655 b)

651:: Geographic term

  1. Assign to a specific place.  Use multiple headings for each location.
  2. If set of multiple headings cover most of the larger place, use heading for the larger area (preferred)
  3. Changes over time
    • Linear (retains same territory) name change – use latest name
    • Mergers – can use both the premerger and postmerger names
    • Splits – depends
  4. When a name is not qualified, it is assumed to be the name of the city or other populated place
  5. Names for local places are in indirect order (countries and larger areas) except in the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and Canada (use state or province).
  6. Special cases: extinct cities and ancient kingdoms ; archaeological sites ; bodies of water ; islands ; interstates/highways/freeway interchanges ; disputed territories ; language-based territories ; parks, reserves, etc. ; other man-made structures associated with places larger than a city ; extraterrestrial bodies

600:: Personal name

  • Family names: don’t differentiate between families with same surname

610:: Corporate name

  1. Does not include: conferences, meetings (are treated as events); family names (are treated as personal headings; imaginary organizations (are treated as topical headings)
  2. When the name of a corporate body changes, use only the latest name.

Ex. Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College [first name]

      Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University [current name]

The first name would cover the founding of the College.

The current name would cover anything about the University.

611:: Event

  1. a.      Use English unless the vernacular is in common use: Tour de Suisse (Bicycle race)
  2. b.      Recurring events do not require date qualifier.  Place qualifier is used only if at a single location.
  3. Types of events:
  • ·         Military conflicts
  • ·         Meetings (named conferences, meetings, congresses)
  • Sporting events
  • Strikes, trials, expeditions, exhibits, festivals, natural disasters
  • Exhibitions, strikes, trials, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other local events are qualified by place and date: Communist Trial (New York, New York : 1949)

648:: Chronological term

  1. FAST normally contain exact periods, but OK to use the longer periods in LCSH when more specific dates are not available
  2. A single heading is used for contiguous periods. Use multiple headings for noncontiguous periods.
  3. Single date: 2001 (September 11)
  4. Beginning date: Since 1775
  5. Ending date: To 1500
  6. Date range: 1032-1400
  7. Geologic period: From 140 to 190 million years ago [Note: names of geologic periods are topical headings)
  8. B.C./A.D.
  9. Reflect the actual time period covered in a book.

Ex. of book about Grant’s Vicksburg campaign:

      Geographic headings: Mississippi

      Chronological headings: 1862-1863

      Event heading: American Civil War (1861-1865)

Ex. 648: 7: 1939-1975 |2 fast

655:: Genre/form

  1. Derived from LCSH so not available for all types of materials. Use as available
  2. What the work is not about (See 650 f) 
  3. Examples of general, art, cartography, law, music, and religion genre/form headings

630:: Uniform/preferred title

  1. FAST heading for titles begin with the title rather than the author.  Authors’ names are used as qualifiers.  Also FAST headings for titles do not include language, version, or date. Ex. Hamlet (Shakespeare, William)
  2. Use title in the original language.  If non-Roman, transliterate.
  3. Works of collective responsibility of a corporate body or conference, meeting, use the title of the work qualified by the name of the corporate body or conference, meeting, etc. Ex. Annual Symposium proceedings (Society of Flight Test Engineers, National Symposium)

FAST quick reference chart to some confusing headings:



Current  FAST  (Use "Keywords" search except where noted)


Conference proceedings

Conference papers and proceedings (655)

Description and travel



Economic conditions

Economic history

Economic conditions (Use "Full heading" search)

Foreign economic relations


International economic relations

Politics and government

Political science

Politics and government (Use "Full heading" search)

Relations –or- Foreign relations


International relations –or- Diplomatic relations

Social conditions

Social history

Social conditions (Use "Full heading" search)

If you need to assign a subject heading (personal or corporate name) that is not in FAST but is in NAF:

Create a personal or corporate name by using "Import to FAST Subject Headings" at  (Tip: add this as a FAST Faves bookmark)

Select a name facet to import and follow the steps. Note: You will need to copy the LCCN from the LC name authority to search for and create the heading.

If you need to assign a subject heading (topical string) that is allowed under LCSH as a main heading/subdivision combination:

Create a topical string by using "Import to FAST Subject Headings" at

Select the topical facet to import and follow the steps.

If you need to assign a name heading that is not in FAST and not in NAF: (this is done manually, not with the Import tool)

Choose a matching heading from the Voyager headings list, or if there is no match, formulate a new heading according to RDA that is unique within Voyager. Add it to the record with a $2 fast/NIC as follows:

600 17 $a Kovari, Jason $2 fast/NIC

610 27 $a Amit Bhatia Libe Café $2 fast/NIC

If you need to assign a geographical 651 that is not in FAST but is in NAF: (this is done manually, not with the Import tool)

Ex. Limbang (Sarawak, Malaysia), lccn nb2011029279

Use: 651 : 7: $a Malaysia $z Limbang (Sarawak) $2 fast/naf $0 (DLC) nb2011029279 


Creating and using a "Favorites" button in browser for frequently used FAST terms:

In your Internet browser, add a Folder to your bookmarks toolbar called “FASTFaves”.  Bookmark FAST searches you want to save, and rename them to something useful. Save these to the FASTFaves folder you just created. These terms are then readily available from the pull-down menu in your toolbar folder.   




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