Subject Headings weirdness

Over the years we’ve not been consistent in our subject heading syntax. In particular, when using LCSH terms we’ve sometimes put spaces between hyphens and sometimes not–for example:

Logging – Accidents

The other day I got it into my head to try and fix this once and for all so the headings would only appear once in subject browse (currently using the Subject Browse plugin) rather than twice for each variation.

I went over to the Bulk Metadata Editor and, using “Search and replace text in the selected fields,” changed " – " to “–” in the Subject field.

And it worked–sort of.

Now Subject Browse still displays both versions:

But the " – " versions display a blank return:[0][element_id]=49&advanced[0][type]=contains&advanced[0][terms]=Agriculture+--+Accidents&submit_search=Search

while the “–” versions display a list of records containing the term.

So…I’m guessing the old versions have persisted somewhere.

Any suggestions for how I could clean this up?


I was not aware of the existence of a Subject Browse plugin, so I searched for it and I see that the GitHub relevant page marks it as deprecated, suggesting to use the Reference plugin instead. So, my first suggestion would be to install such plugin, configure it to show only Titles and see whether it works as expected (if so, you could then remove the Subject Browse plugin).

I’ve noticed, by looking at the page you listed, that now you have double hyphens in many titles, so you might want to use Bulk Metadata Editor again to clean that up.

Finally, my take on the blank/no blank issue: I’d personally prefer the option " - " instead of “-”, because of the confusion that could raise for combined words (like “check-in” and “long-term”).

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THANK YOU! Worked like a charm! It’s also going to allow me to create a reference list for all the songs across the collections once I straighten out which of our dedicated fields to use, which is wonderful!

The double hyphens w/o spaces on either end are an LC cataloging convention, so when I use LCSH I’m trying to adhere to their protocols. Haven’t always been consistent in the past.

Still more work to do to clean up the long-arc messes I’ve made with collections descriptions, but I’m getting there!

Glad to hear your issues was solved.

Btw, should you have any advice on improvements of the Reference plugin, do not forget you can post them as Issues on the GitHub page of the plugin.

p.s.: there seems to be something wrong with Item 1805, as its subject (“Agriculture”) does not get listed together with other Items with the same subject; it could just be some symbol/blank before the subject, you might want to check it