This search compares entered words or
phrases to those found in a controlled vocabulary (a standard
set of words or phrases that reflect the topic of an item, see
below...). Use this search when the exact order of the words/phrases in the heading is known.
|Subject Browse retrieves materials by subject using
controlled vocabulary headings.
Search limits are not available.
Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)
are not available.
The most commonly used controlled vocabulary at the Library of
Congress is the latest edition of the Library
of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). In addition to presenting
a controlled list of subject headings in alphabetic order, LCSH
shows the relationships among those headings and provides other
valuable information, such as scope notes that clarify usage and
Library of Congress classification numbers that are associated with
a particular subject heading. Users are encouraged to consult this
list as part of an effective search strategy.
Subject Browse Search Examples:
|To browse the Subject Heading . . .
||Enter the words . . .
|Alexander the Great, 356-323 B.C.
||alexander the great
|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, including double dashes before subject
subdivisions. For example: enter united states history civil
war, not united states--history--civil war. When omitting
an apostrophe, close the space; for example, enter oneill eugene
(not o'neill or o neill).
- Conduct a Subject Browse in one of the following two
- Consult LCSH, or other thesauri/subject lists
available in your library in order to identify the correct
heading or ask a librarian for assistance. Enter search words
or phrases found in LCSH in the box, omitting
- Start with a word (or root of a word) that describes the
topic. For example, 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. Select the
most relevant heading in order to view a Titles
List for that heading. Display relevant catalog records
individually and select the [Subjects/Content] button
to display the assigned subject headings. The headings should
appear as hypertext links. Select the heading which most closely
describes the topic and perform a search for that subject.
- Searches are automatically truncated and retrieve catalog records
that begin with the words or phrases entered. Do not use
the question mark (?) for truncation.
References and Scope Notes:
In search results, some retrieved headings will be marked with
icon, which provides a link to the established form of the heading
or to related headings and scope notes as illustrated in the sample
Headings List screen below.
More detailed information on References and
Scope Notes is available.
Alternative Search Options:
If you do not find what you are looking for using the Subject
Browse search option, try Expert Search or Guided
Search. For example, to use Expert Search to
find materials related to cooking shrimp and lobster on a
grill, enter: shrimp AND lobster AND grill. Display
a single record and select the [Subjects/Content] tab.
Review the subjects assigned to that catalog record, and select
the hypertext link for the most closely matching subject heading
listed to search for related materials.
Use the browser's [Back] button to resume
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