The National Archives Catalog

Geographic Reference

MandatoryRepeatableData TypeAuthorityPublic Element
Yes No Variable Character Length (700) None Yes

The established, preferred form of a geographic place name.

Variant or non-preferred geographic place name headings lead to the authorized geographic place name heading.


Controls the heading or entry of the Geographic Reference authority record.

Supports the primary purpose of vocabulary control to achieve consistency in description and to facilitate retrieval.

Relationship: Geographic Reference is the element on which all other elements used to establish a Geographic Reference are dependent. To have any other element about a geographic place name, Geographic Reference must be created. Geographic Reference is an independent element.
Guidance: For cataloging geographic place name headings, see the Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings (Library of Congress).
New Orleans (La.)
Rhode Island
Mississippi River
Mars (Planet)

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Lifecycle Data Requirements Guide