The National Archives Catalog

Topical Subject

Mandatory Repeatable Data Type Authority Public Element
Yes No Variable Character Length (700) None Yes



The established, preferred form of a topical term.

Variant or non-preferred term topical headings lead to the authorized Topical Subject heading.



Controls the heading or entry of the Topical Subject authority record.

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


Relationship: Topical Subject is the element on which all other elements used to describe topical subjects are dependent. To have any other element about a topical subject, Topical Subject must be created. Topical Subject is an independent element.


Guidance: For cataloging topical subject headings, see the Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings (Library of Congress).




American Civil War, 1861-1865

Ardennes, Battle of the, 1944-1945

Nuclear energy

Operation Dragoon, 1944

Presidential appointments

Training planes

Water conservation

World War, 1914-1918

World War, 1939-1945



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