New and Revised LCSH Headings for Minstrelsy Terms

In April 2022 the MLA-CMC Vocabularies Maintenance Task Group began initial discussion of LC subject headings related to minstrelsy. Minstrelsy is a form of entertainment originating in the 19th century that depicted caricatures of various racialized groups, but most predominantly African Americans.  The Vocabularies Maintenance Task Group in 2022 consisted of Anne Adams (chair), with Jennifer Olson, Ann Churukian, Allison McClanahan, Tomoko Shibuya, and Clare Spitzer.   In September 2022, after consultation with the African American SACO Funnel, the decision was made to remove references to African Americans from the terms Minstrelsy and Minstrel music in LCSH and create the narrower terms Blackface minstrel music and Blackface minstrel shows. The introduction of the narrower minstrelsy terms provides catalogers and users with more specific terms to identify and label derogatory works. Furthermore, similar “-face” terms used to depict caricatures of other racialized groups can be proposed to provide similar searching and indexing. 

Read More »