FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) is a service from OCLC. It is a ‘remake’ version of LCSH.

“The Library of Congress Subject Headings schema (LCSH) is by far the most commonly used and widely accepted subject vocabulary for general application. It is the de facto universal controlled vocabulary and has been a model for developing subject heading systems by many countries. However, LCSH’s complex syntax and rules for constructing headings restrict its application by requiring highly skilled personnel and limit the effectiveness of automated authority control. Recent trends, driven to a large extent by the rapid growth of the Web, are forcing changes in bibliographic control systems to make them easier to use, understand, and apply, and subject headings are no exception. The purpose of adapting the LCSH with a simplified syntax to create FAST is to retain the very rich vocabulary of LCSH while making the schema easier to understand, control, apply, and use. The schema maintains upward compatibility with LCSH, and any valid set of LC subject headings can be converted to FAST headings…..

The individual terms in the FAST vocabulary are divided into eight distinct categories or facets:  Personal names, Corporate names, Geographic names, Events, Titles, Time periods, Topics, and Form/Genre.

As a fully enumerative system, all subject headings are established with authority records eliminating the need to synthesize headings along with the complex set of syntax rules.

Currently the FAST authority file contains over 1,600,000 authority records.  The FAST database is available at The authority file is extensively indexed to support a variety of search options and documentation on searching the FAST authority file is available on the FAST web site. FAST is also available through the OCLC Terminologies Service prototype at  The full FAST authority file can be licensed for non-commercial use.”

The search interface of FAST is at

FAST Linked Data is available at, and is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution Licence. It is also available for download under this license at

To code the FAST terms in bibliographic records in MARC21, use the second indicator of 7 and the subfield

FAST Facet Expressed as
Dublin Core Qualifier
Expressed in
MARC21 Bibliographic ta
 Topical  Subject  650, second indicator 7, $a/$x, $2 fast
 Chronological  Period  648, second indicator 7, $a, $2 fast
 Form  Type  655, second indicator 7, $a, $2 fast
 Geographic  Coverage.spatial  651, second indicator 7, $a/$z, $2 fast
 Personal name  Creator/namePersonal or
 600, second indicator 7, $abcdq, $2 fast
 Corporate name  Creator/nameCorporate or
 610, second indicator 7, $abndc, $2 fast

Rebecca Dean. FAST: Development of Simplified Headings for Metadata. Paper presented at Authority Control: Definition and International Experiences conference, 10-12 February 2003, Florence (Italy))