More on FAST

In building subject terms in authority file, one decision has to be made in dealing with compound subjects is precoordination vs postcoordination. In precoordinated system, the indexer or cataloguer predetermines the combination of topic terms to be used as index terms or headings. In postcoordinated system, the indexer or cataloguer uses single topic terms to be the index terms or headings. FAST is using the postcoordination approach as the syntax of the subject terms.

FAST uses the LCSH vocabularies because of the richness, being a well controlled system (e.g. synonym and homograph control; cross references), its compatibility with MARC.  FAST keeps the semantic relationships in LSCH but simplifies its complicated syntax.  The result is a set of vocabularies that is more applicable to Dublin Core, which is used by many digital library projects.

Some examples:

Title: Bank consolidation and small business lending: it’s not just bank size matters
Small business–United States–Finance.
Bank loans–United States

Topical:  Small business–Finance
Bank loans
Geographic:  United States

Title: Churches of Florence
Church architecture–Italy–Florence.
Florence (Italy)–Buildings, structures, etc.
Florence (Italy)–Church history.
Topical: Church architecture
Buildings and structures
Geographic:  Italy–France
Form: Church history

(Source: Chan, Lois Mai.  Cataloging and Classification: an Introduction.  (3 ed.).  Chapter 9)