precoordinate indexing

n.A method of indexing materials that combines separate concepts in an item into a single heading.


In precoordinate indexing, a complex subject is represented by a single heading rather than separate headings for different aspects of the subject heading. For example, a history of Arizona might be assigned the heading 'Arizona - History.' In postcoordinate indexing, the work might be given separate headings 'Arizona' and for 'History'. A precoordinate indexing system can clearly indicate the relationship of concepts used as headings. For example, a work on Alfred Stieglitz's photography and Georgia O'Keefe's paintings might be given the headings 'Stieglitz, Alfred - Photography' and 'O'Keefe, Georgia - Painting'.