Frontmatter:  View Table of Contents  |  Preface  |  A History of the Sears List  |  Principles of the Sears List
Headings:  Headings to be Added by the Cataloger  |  "Key" Headings  |  List of Canceled and Replaced Headings
Subdivisions:  The Use of Subdivisions in the Sears List  |  List of Subdivisions Provided for in the Sears List
Browse the PDF:  Browse the PDF of Sears List of Subject Headings
Search:  Search the Sears List of Subject Headings

Headings to be Added by the Cataloger

Sears is not intended to be a complete list of subject headings but only a list of many of the most commonly used headings and a pattern for creating other headings as needed. Types of things and names of individual things must always be added when they are not already provided in the List. The general references in the List explicitly instruct the cataloger to create headings in areas where the need for such additions is most obvious (such as under Flowers, where the general reference reads “SA [See also] types of flowers, e.g. Roses {to be added as needed}”). Where there is no general reference the same instruction is implicit.

A further discussion of adding headings can be found in the Principles of the Sears List. Some of the additional headings most likely to be needed are the following:

Topical Subjects

  1. Types of common things — foods, tools, sports, musical instruments, etc.
  2. Types of plants and animals — fruits, flowers, birds, fishes, etc.
  3. Types of chemicals and minerals
  4. Types of enterprises and industries
  5. Types of diseases
  6. Names of organs and regions of the body
  7. Names of languages, language groups, and national literatures
  8. Names of ethnic groups and nationalities
  9. Names of wars, battles, treaties, etc.

Geographic Headings

  1. Names of political jurisdictions — countries, states, cities, provinces, etc.
  2. Groups of states, groups of countries, alliances, etc.
  3. Names of geographic features — regions, mountain ranges, island groups, individual mountains, individual islands, rivers, river valleys, oceans, lakes, etc.


  1. Personal names — individual persons and families
  2. Corporate names — associations, societies, government bodies, religious denominations, business firms, performing groups, colleges, libraries, hospitals, hotels, ships, etc.
  3. Uniform titles — anonymous literary works, newspapers, periodicals, sacred scriptures, motion pictures, etc.

The Key Headings can be used as a guide in applying subdivisions to any similar headings. Subdivisions not provided for in the Sears List may also be established and used as needed.

Navigate to Additional Sections of Sears List of Subject Headings