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Cataloging and Metadata Management: Using Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) in Cataloging

Accessing MeSH

Catalogers access MeSH records online via the MeSH Browser. For instructions on using the MeSH Browser, see Module 3.

Introduction to MeSH

  • MeSH is the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus
  • Consists of sets of terms arranged in a hierarchical structure that permits searching at various levels of specificity
  • Organized hierarchically into 16 trees

MeSH Trees

  • Each tree is assigned a letter as an identifier

A. Anatomy
B. Organisms
C. Diseases
D. Chemical and Drugs
E. Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment
F. Psychiatry and Psychology
G. Phenomena and Processes
H. Disciplines and Occupations
I. Anthropology, Education, Sociology and Social Phenomena
J. Technology, Industry, Agriculture
K. Humanities
L. Information Science
M. Named Groups
N. Health Care
V. Publication Characteristics
Z. Geographic Locations