Integration of archival materials cataloged in the USMARC AMC format into online catalogs has given a new urgency to the need for direct subject access. The author offers a broad definition of the concepts to be considered under the subject access umbrella, including not only topical subjects but also proper names, forms of material, time periods, geographic places, occupations, and functions. It is argued that it is both necessary and possible to provide more consistent subject access to archives and manuscripts than currently is being achieved. The author describes current efforts that are under way in the profession to address this need.

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