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

Place Name Changes Over Time

  • Generally assign the current name of a geographic area that has changed names over time
  • Exception
    • There is a special branch within the geographic tree for Historical Geographic Locations
    • Terms that appear only in this branch represent areas that do not really correspond to any single existing place or country and should be used for resources about these historical locations


  • For a work about all of pre-1948 India, including a significant amount of material on what is now Pakistan, use
    • 651 _2 India
    • 651 _2 Pakistan
  • For a work about Prussia (which now encompasses parts of Poland and Germany) use
    • 651 _2 Prussia

Geographics vs. Corporate Subjects

  • Do not confuse the MeSH 651 with corporate names that have a geographic term as the first element. Corporate subjects are recorded in the 610 field and found in the name authority file, not in MeSH
  • Cf. Module 7—Names as subjects