Computing Resources
Electronic Resources
World Wide Web Resources
Online Resource Booking
Administrative Policies and Procedures
Click here to return HOME
About FIS
Site Index
graphic line

Copyright 2002

Revised: 07/03/2003

Subject Analysis Systems (SAS)Collection

Address:  Faculty of Information Studies Inforum
140 St. George Street, 4th floor
Toronto, Ontario   CANADA  M5S 3G6
Phone: 416-978-7060; Fax: 416-978-5769

About the Subject Analysis Systems (SAS) Collection  

This collection is the North American Clearinghouse for subject classifications and controlled vocabularies in many different subject areas.  Included are:

  • Subject heading lists
  • Thesauri
  • Classification schemes

It is the major English language world print collection in this area, and we are a depository library for materials of this kind*. 

*Appendix D of  the ANSI/NISO Z39.19-1993 standard, Guidelines for the Construction, Format, and Management of Monolingual Thesauri (Bethesda, MD: NISO Press, 1994) says that English language thesauri or multilingual thesauri with English language sections should be deposited at the Faculty of Information Studies at the above address.

It contains both large scale and very specialized works on a wide variety of subjects.  The collection also includes adaptations and expansions of general systems such as the Dewey Decimal Classification and the Library of Congress Classification, as well as independent schemes.

It is a practical resource for information professionals engaged in designing or applying subject schemes and taxonomies.  It is also a unique research resource for the study of subject analysis and its development. The collection contains over 2000 titles.   

We encourage creators of new subject schemes to deposit copies with us.  We also acquire new items.  The collection is housed in a separate room on the 5th floor of the Inforum.

Some History

The Collection began in 1924, formally established by the Special Libraries Association (SLA), and was known as the "Loan Collection of Classification Schemes and Subject Heading Lists."  It was administered by volunteers at the SLA headquarters in New York City. 

It was then transferred to Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio) in the 1960's, and came to be administered by the School of Library Science there.  As the collection more than doubled its original size, it underwent a few name changes -- from the Special Classifications Center Collection in 1963, to the Bibliographic Systems Center Collection in 1966.  At this time, the collection was formally donated by the SLA to the School of Library Science at Case Western.

Then, in 1976 the collection was transferred to the Faculty of Library Science (now the Faculty of Information Studies) at the University of Toronto (Ontario, Canada), and became part of the faculty's Library (now known as the Inforum).  The SAS Collection is one of the permanent Inforum collections.

Searching the SAS Collection

The collection has been catalogued and is accessible as part of the University of Toronto's Library catalogue. Please note that the catalogue includes items from the 40+ libraries in the U of T Library system. 

NEW! The SAS collection can now be searched as a separate collection in the catalogue, in the ADVANCED search mode. Please note that a separate print listing of items in this collection is not maintained.

Some search tips:

To search SAS as a separate collection:  From the ADVANCED search screen of the catalogue, type in your search terms, then limit the LOCATION to Subject Analysis System Collection. This will return results from only the Inforum's SAS collection.

Assignment of subject headings:  The collection is indexed according to the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH).  However, rather than using "subject headings" and "classification" and "thesauri" as headings, they are used as subdivisions  with LCSH topics, e.g. geology--thesauri.

Subject searches:  To search for subject schemes on specific topics, we recommend the following strategies:
-  For an ADVANCED search:  use the multiple search boxes set to subject mode, with the AND connector selected.   Be sure to limit your location to Subject Analysis System Collection.
-  For a BASIC search:  search in subject mode, typing in the Boolean and between terms.  If you are unsure of the LCSH headings, try an any field search, using and between terms.

Click HERE to access the library catalogue as a separate window.

Availability of Materials

In person
Currently any in-person registered user of the Inforum has free access to the Collection and may borrow materials for two weeks.

Inter-Library Loan (ILL)
The Inforum offers an inter-library loan service for SAS material. Requests may be made by mail, telephone, or fax. The service is currently CAN $12 per item for all Canadian non-profit organizations and CAN $20 per item for all Canadian for-profit and foreign organizations.

Address requests to:

Subject Analysis Systems
Faculty of Information Studies
Room 404
140 St. George St.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5S 3G6

Telephone: 416-978-7060
Fax: 416-978-5769

Depositing Titles to the SAS Collection

Print items
If you have created a new thesaurus or have updated an existing one, we would appreciate receiving a deposit copy, as per the ANSI/NISO standard cited above.  They can be sent to the address above, along with a letter indicating that the item is a donation.

Electronic-only items
At this time, we do not maintain a separate listing of subject schemes in electronic format.  We recommend that you send notice of your creation to one of the metasites listed below for inclusion.  However, we would still appreciate an email to let us know about the existence of your scheme.

Related Online Collections

A.  Metasites of Online Thesauri

B.  Software