ACAT Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic

Posting to Autocat

On 8/13/2014 9:09 AM, Elhanan Adler wrote:

LCSH (via Connexion) has
World War, 1939-1945 ǂz Czechoslovakia
but for individual towns:
World War, 1939-1945 ǂz Czech Republic ǂz Prague


(from this I deduce that ǂz Czechoslovakia is still valid for relevant periods, but ǂz Czechoslovakiaǂz [place] should not be used even for the relevant period) however, LCSH has both

World War, 1939-1945 ǂx Campaigns ǂz Czech Republic
World War, 1939-1945 ǂx Campaigns ǂz Czechoslovakia
and both
World War, 1939-1945 ǂx Concentration camps ǂz Czech Republic


World War, 1939-1945 ǂx Concentration camps ǂz Czechoslovakia

Shouldn’t these be ǂz Czechoslovakia only? With perhaps a cross reference?

See the Slavic Cataloging Manual for a discussion of this at

Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic refer to two different geographic areas. Czechoslovakia was created after WWI from various areas, and in 1993, the country split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. As a result, all cities that had been qualified by (Czechoslovakia) had to have other qualifiers, either (Czech Republic) or (Slovakia).

For subject usage, both are valid depending on the geographic area covered. If a book about WWII deals with the entire area of the former Czechoslovakia, you use that heading, but if it deals only with Slovakia or the Czech Republic, you use one of those.

By the way, this is normal practice, but everything works differently from the Russia/Soviet Union/Former Soviet republics headings, which all describe the same geographic heading and as a result, have become very difficult to assign. (This is also covered in the Slavic Cataloging Manual)

How users are supposed to divine any/all of this has always been a mystery to me. In the card catalog, you could put in guide cards that people would find by browsing, and that would explain these matters, e.g. see in the Princeton card catalog the guide cards that explains the earlier treatment for Russia.–%28Without+subdivision%29&g=124531.500000&n=1&r=1.000000&thisname=0000.0001.tiff

The public would inevitably come across these cards while searching, as I described in a podcast “Cataloging Matters no. 18: Problems with Library Catalogs”

With keyword, the traditional method of providing help to people browsing the cards disappeared and nothing has replaced it. Still, people need to be aware of this vital information that helps them search the catalog more effectively.