Canadian Subject Headings (CSH)

Access to ongoing updates and additions to Canadian Subject Headings (CSH) will be available here until March 2019. At that point, LAC will begin maintaining CSH from within OCLC’s integrated library management system, WorldShare Management Services (WMS).

LAC will no longer maintain a separate search site for CSH, but will make copies of the complete CSH file in MARC21 freely available through FTP to libraries and other organizations to load into their own systems. More information.

Canadian Subject Headings (CSH) is a list of subject headings in the English language, using controlled vocabulary, to access and express the subject content of documents on Canada and Canadian topics.​

CSH offers:

  • free, up-to-date access to over 6000 subject authority records in the English language, providing in-depth coverage of Canadian topics, including those recently in the news. Coverage focuses on the Canadian cultural, economic, historical, literary, political and social experience
  • records displayed in both MARC 21 and thesaurus display
  • compatibility with Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • monthly updating of the database
  • access to CSH headings from their French-language equivalents, taken from Répertoire de vedettes-matière (RVM) 
  • a large number of references and scope notes and instructions, setting topics in their Canadian context
  • browsing, exact and keyword searching

Canadian Subject Headings in SKOS/RDF [RDF/XML 14,771 KB]

Downloading of CSH records from AMICUS

Subject authority records for Canadian Subject Headings are also available in the AMICUS database, Library and Archives Canada's bibliographic and authorities database. Registered AMICUS users can download CSH authority records in the MARC 21 format from AMICUS. For more information on becoming a registered user and/or downloading from AMICUS, contact the AMICUS Support Services.

For more information and to search AMICUS Web, go to AMICUS.

Note that Canadian Subject Headings, 3rd edition (print), is no longer updated by supplements, nor will a new edition be published. The third edition and its supplements have been superseded by CSH on the Web.

Suggestions for new headings or changes to headings and comments

Suggestions for new headings or changes to headings are welcomed by Library and Archives Canada. No special proposal form is required. Please send suggestions or questions about CSH to:

Editor, Canadian Subject Headings
Library and Archives Canada
550, boul. de la Cité
Gatineau, QC K1A 0N4
Fax: 819-934-6777

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