Elizabeth Seton Library
Using Library of Congress Subject Headings
Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) are a part of the Library of Congress Classification, a system of grouping books with similar topics. Subject headings are those words assigned to books that describe what the book is about. You can use the Library of Congress Subject Headings to help choose appropriate words or subject headings to search in the Online Catalog, and other electronic databases.
Suppose that you are writing a paper about sports. Look up "sports" in the Library of Congress Subject Headings books, located by the information desk. You will see this:
Sports (May Subd Geog) UF Field sports Pastimes Recreations BT Recreation RT Athletics Games Outdoor life Physical education and training SA subdivision Sports under military services, e.g., United States. Army --Sports; and under ethnic groups NT Aeronautical sports Age and sports Aquatic sports Ball games [etc...]
"May Subd Geog" (next to the word "Sports") stands for "may be subdivided geographically." In other words, it might be possible to search specifically for aquatic sports in California, for example. This subject search could be used in the catalog by keying in the terms "aquatic sports California."
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