Subject Analysis Systems (SAS)Collection
Address: Faculty of Information Studies
140 St. George Street, 4th floor
Toronto, Ontario CANADA M5S 3G6
Phone: 416-978-7060; Fax: 416-978-5769
Email inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
- 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
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 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"
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
- 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
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
Address requests to:
Subject Analysis Systems
Faculty of Information Studies
140 St. George St.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Depositing Titles to the SAS
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.
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