Homosaurus Training Resources and FAQ

Homosaurus Training Videos

This resource list compiles videos with specific use case scenarios, practical training, and suggestions for the implementation of Homosaurus by a cataloger. This list and the video content will be helpful if you already have a background in cataloging, Alma/Primo, and controlled vocabularies. 

The resource videos were compiled and annotated by the members of the ULC standing group, UMSILS and the Cataloging Standing Group.

For additional training opportunities in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, please have a look at the Alliance’s DEI Standing Group’s Training Page. The DEI Standing Group is focusing on LGBTQ+ training resources for the 2024 Fiscal year, and additional training topics and series will be added to that page as speakers are confirmed.

Homosaurus Cataloging and Project Implementation Training

Adrian Williams (they/them) University of Kentucky, 2023

This three-part workshop is for catalogers and other metadata professionals who have an interest in using the Homosaurus vocabulary at their institutions. Adrian Williams orients audience members on Homosaurus’ policies and implementation best practices, as well as on how catalogers and metadata professionals can perform subject analysis for LGBTQ+ culture, context, and history. They also train audience members on using Homosaurus in the bibliographic record.

This workshop is the result of a joint initiative of the Orbis Cascade Alliance’s Unique Materials in the SILS Standing Group (UMSILS) and the Cataloging Standing Group (CSG).

Introducing The Homosaurus: A Linked Data Vocabulary for the LGBTQ+ Community

Amber Billey (she/her), Bard College, 2021

20 min presentation

This presentation provides a history and overview of Homosaurus, as well as background on what a controlled vocabulary is more generally. Examples from LCSH and Homosaurus are provided for concepts and topics and are shown in both MARC and Dublin Core records. The presentation provides some best practices and recommendations.

Cataloging with the Homosaurus: Who, What, When, Why, and How 

Jay L. Colbert (he/him), University of New Hampshire, 2021

60 min lecture video

This presentation outlines instances when a cataloger may choose to use Homosaurus and how to implement the vocabulary. Specific use case training begins at 10 mins and outlines when to use sex or gender, LGBTQ v Queer, when to use slang, etc. There is a LGBTQ Hierarchy display example at 25:38 and Colbert addresses outdated/offensive terms at minute 33 with an example display. At minute 49 Colbert addresses the lack of subdivisions in Homosaurus. Colbert provides a Zotero library with Homosaurus resources and his github repository with the presentation.. Audience questions are dispersed through the presentation.

Using Homosaurus in a Public Library Consortium

Rachel K Fischer (she/hers), Cooperative Computer Services, 2021

20 min video presentation & Slides

This presentation explains what Homosaurus is and how it is used within the CCS Public Library System. The presentation shows how patrons search, how CCS decided on implementing Homosaurus, and details the local practices and usage in their catalog. Slide 20 shows a sample MARC authority record and the Homosaurus record. The presentation includes an additional list of resources, including the CSS Cataloging Manual and Terry Reese’s documentation on using MarcEdit to convert Homosaurus records into MARC authority records.

Use of Homosaurus at U Kentucky Libraries 

Adrian Williams (they/them), University of Kentucky, 2021

35 min video presentation 

This second half of this video covers the use of Homosaurus as an alternative controlled vocabulary at the University of Kentucky (staring at 33:09). The presentation details retrospective projects to enhance MARC records and the use of a more analog approach since it is not always possible to map terms from LCSH to Homosaurus as a batch process. The projects updated records containing terms like “non-monogamous relationships” and “sexual minorities”.

Homosaurus FAQs

What is Homosaurus?

The Homosaurus is an international linked data vocabulary of LGBTQ terms that supports improved access to LGBTQ resources within cultural institutions. Designed to serve as a companion to broad subject term vocabularies, the Homosaurus is a robust and cutting-edge vocabulary of LGBTQ-specific terminology that enhances the discoverability of LGBTQ resources. [source]

Why should I use Homosaurus?

Including Homosaurus terms enhances the discoverability of LGBTQ+ resources and provides users with search terms that may be more familiar than those in LCSH.  The use of Homosaurus’s more inclusive terminology can help to mitigate the harm caused by outdated/inaccurate/offensive terms from other vocabularies.

Who can add Homosaurus terms to records?

Anyone who is cataloging a resource and has appropriate OCLC editing permissions can add Homosaurus terms to a bibliographic record.

What MARC fields can I add Homosaurus terms to?

Homorsaurus terms can be added to both the 650 – Subject Added Entry – Topical Term and 655 – Index Term – Genre/Form fields. When using Homosaurus terms make sure to:

  • Use second indicator 7.
  • Specify the source by adding $2 homoit to the field.
  • Add the URI for the term in $0.  URI can be found at the top of the page for each term ex. LGBTQ+ people (https://homosaurus.org/v3/homoit0000915)

What are some examples of Homosaurus terms in MARC records?

035    ##$a(OCoLC)1264402166

100    1#$aDarwin, Helana, $eauthor.

245    10$aRedoing gender : $bhow nonbinary gender contributes toward social change / $cHelana Darwin.

264    #1$aCham, Switzerland : $bPalgrave Macmillan, $c[2022]

264    #4$c©2022


650    #7$aNon-binary people. $2homoit $0https://homosaurus.org/v3/homoit0001048

035    ##$a15828539

100    1#$aKobabe, Maia, $eauthor, $eartist.

245    10$aGender queer : $ba memoir / $cby Maia Kobabe ; colors by Phoebe Kobabe.

264    #1$aPortland, OR : $bOni Press, $c[2020]

264    #4$c©2022


650    #7$aNon-binary people. $2homoit $0https://homosaurus.org/v3/homoit0001048

650    #7$aNon-binary identity. $2homoit $0https://homosaurus.org/v3/homoit0001920

650    #7$aLGBTQ+ youth. $2homoit $0https://homosaurus.org/v3/homoit0001521

650    #7$aGender identity. $2homoit $0https://homosaurus.org/v3/homoit0000571

650    #7$aGender dysphoria. $2homoit $0https://homosaurus.org/v3/homoit0000567

650    #7$aGender euphoria. $2homoit $0https://homosaurus.org/v3/homoit0002256


655    #7$aLGBTQ+ autobiographies. $2homoit $0https://homosaurus.org/v3/homoit0001729

655    #7$aLGBTQ+ graphic novels. $2homoit $0https://homosaurus.org/v3/homoit0000874

035    ##$a(OCoLC)1263248483

100    1#$aPunchard, Philippa, $eauthor.

264    #1$aLondon ; $aPhiladelphia : $bJessica Kingsley Publishers, $c2022.

264    #4$c©2022

245    10$aGender pioneers : $ba celebration of transgender, non-binary and intersex icons / $cPhilippa Punchard ; illustrated by Philippa Punchard ; foreword by Christine Burns, MBE.


650    #7$aLGBTQ+ people. $2homoit $0https://homosaurus.org/v3/homoit0000915

650    #7$aNon-binary people. $2homoit $0https://homosaurus.org/v3/homoit0001048


655    #7$aTransgender biographies. $2homoit $0https://homosaurus.org/v3/homoit0001618

655    #7$aLGBTQ+ biographies. $2homoit $0https://homosaurus.org/v3/homoit0001614

How has Homosaurus been used at other institutions?

Homosaurus is used to supplement LCSH subject headings to provide greater discoverability for resources on LGBTQ+ related topics. See the video presentation links above for information about specific projects at libraries, including retrospective cataloging.

Should I add URIs to Homosaurus fields?

Yes, adding URIs to fields with Homosaurus terms helps with authority control and makes the terms more linked data compatible. Use subfield $0 to record URI. Each term’s URI can be found on the Homosaurus web page for that term. For example, LGBTQ+ people (https://homosaurus.org/v3/homoit0000915)

What tools are available to help me add Homosaurus terms? 

Are Homosaurus terms in bib records automatically updated?

Although the Homosaurus vocabulary is updated regularly, the updates are not automatically pushed out to bibliographic records in OCLC. Including URIs in fields using Homosaurus terms can enable easier updating workflows.

Do OCLC and/or Alma provide authority control for Homosaurus terms?

Neither OCLC nor Alma currently provide authority control for Homosaurus terms. Including URIs in fields using Homosaurus terms can enable easier updating workflows.

How is the Homosaurus vocabulary maintained?

The Homosaurus Editorial Board oversees the upkeep of the vocabulary and will consider all proposed terms and changes on a quarterly basis. Suggestions for new or updated terms can be provided via their Contact Form.

Should I use Homosaurus terms instead of LCSH? 

Homosaurus is designed to be used alongside a broader controlled vocabulary like LCSH. Homosaurus provides more robust and current LGBTQ+-related terminology which can help enhance discovery of these records.

How can I get Homosaurus terms to display in Primo?

The Alliance Norm Rules Standing Group (NRSG) has developed Local Field 47 (Non-LCSH, Non-MeSH Subjects) for Primo VE.  This field is designed to display Homosaurus subject terms along with several other alternative subject vocabularies.  Information on this field’s contents and how to implement it in your Primo VE instance can be found here.

The Alliance Norm Rules Standing Group (NRSG) has added Homosaurus form/genre terms to the central rule for local genre terms (Local field 78). Information on this field’s contents and how to implement it in your Primo VE instance can be found here.

Should I add Homosaurus terms to the OCLC or Alma record?

In accordance with Alliance policy Use of OCLC and Record Identifiers, members should use OCLC as their primary bibliographic utility and thus should add Homosaurus terms to OCLC records.

How can I learn to select appropriate terms from Homosaurus?

  • Watch the recordings of Adrian Williams’ 3 part presentation Homosaurus Cataloging and Project Implementation Training for the Alliance, linked above.
  • Homosaurus Documentation & Implementation
  • Reading the scope notes for terms in Homosaurus can provide context and information on how terms should be applied.
  • Please visit the Trans Metadata Collective website for more information on how to apply Homosaurus terms to MARC records for trans and gender-diverse information resources.
  • More information can be found in the LGBTQIA+ Wiki

When is it appropriate/inappropriate to use Homosaurus terms? 


  • Use terms that align with how the creator has publicly self-identified or the specific identities covered by the work
  • Use terms that align with the historical time period being described
  • Use broad terms for works covering a range of identities or communities
    • Ex. Use LGBTQ+ youth for a work covering teenagers with a range of identities
  • Prefer use of specific terms for works on a specific identity or community
    • Ex. Use Asian American lesbians for a work covering this community instead of simply LGBTQ+ people
  • Ensure correct usage of person-focused vs. identity-focused terms
    • Ex. Use Bisexual people for a work focused on a specific bisexual person or people, but Bisexual identity for a work discussing bisexual orientation in general


  • Use terms for a person that they do not publicly self-identify with.
  • Make assumptions about which terms to use
  • Use terms which may be outdated or offensive (such as those under “Reclaimed terms” or “LGBTQ+ historical terms”) unless a creator specifically self-identifies using them.

Can I add Homosaurus terms via a batch process?

Adding terms via a batch process is not recommended, because there are rarely 1-to-1 correlations between existing subject terms and Homosaurus terms. 

If you’re considering a retrospective project, it may be useful to focus on enhancing records for one identity or community using LCSH terms to identify records. See the session “Use of Homosaurus at U Kentucky Libraries” by Adrian Williams (linked above) for more details on one such project.