Searching Subject Authority Headings
the search type "Subject Authority Headings" on the main
search screen to browse authority records for:
- words or phrases found in a controlled vocabulary
(a standard set of words or phrases that reflect the topic of an
item, see below...)
established by the Library of Congress (and cooperating partners)
and used in Library of Congress
Online Catalog records.
Authority Records available for...
- Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
- Library of Congress Annotated Card Program (AC headings)
-- headings created for juvenile literature
Authority Records not available for
- Subject subdivisions individually
- LCSH subject headings combined with free-floating subdivisions
- Subject access points established in a variety of thesauri but
not in LCSH
Keyword Searching of authority records is not available
in this release of Library of Congress Authorities.
All searches should be entered beginning with the leftmost
word of the heading (see search tips
LCSH and AC subject headings are searchable as Subject
Authority Headings. Although most name, series, title,
and name/title authority records and references appear in
the Subject Authority Headings index, it is necessary to select
the appropriate search type to ensure retrieval of all relevant
authority records in these categories.
Subject Authority Heading Search Examples:
|To browse the Subject Heading . . .
||Enter the words . . .
|Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, 1769-1821
||napoleon i emperor
|Art, African Exhibitions
||art african exhibitions
|Kirk, James T. (Fictitious character) Fiction.
|Sacramento-San Joaquin Estuary (Calif.)
||sacramento san joaquin estuary
|Carving (Meat, etc.)
- Omit all punctuation
- Double dashes: omit double dashes before subject
subdivisions (enter united states history civil war,
not united states--history--civil war)
- Apostrophes: close the space when omitting an apostrophe
(enter oneill eugene, not o'neill or o neill).
- Begin with word roots
- Start with a word (or root of a word) that describes the
topic (a search on the "word root" heli would return
the topics helicobacter, helicopter, heliports,
helium, helix, etc.)
- Review the search results and identify desired headings.
- Truncation is automatic
- Searches are automatically truncated and retrieve subject
heading authority records that begin with the words or phrases
- Do not use the question mark (?) for truncation.
How to View Authorities and References:
Your search results will be presented as a Headings
List -- a list of all name headings in the
Library of Congress Online Catalog, whether the headings have
online authority records associated with them or not.
Please Note: Headings that end with
the legend "[from old catalog]" were assigned before
the online cataloging era and may not be associated with an online
authority record. In addition, the Headings List may display headings
from in-process catalog records for which authority records will
be made in the near future. Proposed headings that have not yet
been approved are retrievable and may be recognized by the label
"[proposed]" after the heading in the Headings List
and in the authority record itself.
The Subject Authority Headings search is a "browse,"
placing you at the point in the index most closely matching your
search words. Select to
view headings that precede your search words alphabetically or scroll
down to view headings following your search words.
To retrieve authority information, references and/or scope
notes for a heading, select the icon shown to the left of the heading.
Please consult the following Help Screens for more detailed information:
Use the browser's [Back] button to exit help and resume
>>Top of Page