|The Library of Congress
Online Catalog is a database of records representing the vast
collection of materials held by the Library. In addition to
these records, the Online Catalog provides cross-references,
notes, and circulation status, as well as information about
Library materials still in the acquisitions stage.
Scope of the Catalog
The Library of Congress Online Catalog contains approximately 14 million
records representing books, serials, computer files, manuscripts,
cartographic materials, music, sound recordings, and visual materials.
The Catalog also displays searching aids for users, such as cross-references
and scope notes.
The catalog records reside in a single integrated database; they
are not separated according to type of material, language of material,
date of cataloging, or processing/circulation status.
As an integrated database, the Online Catalog includes 3.2 million
catalog records from an earlier database. These catalog records,
primarily for books and serials cataloged between 1898 and 1980,
are being edited to comply with current cataloging standards and
to reflect contemporary language and usage. The legend [from
old catalog] indicates that the headings may deviate from current
Library of Congress cataloging policy. For a complete search of
books and serials cataloged prior to 1980, researchers onsite at
the Library should also use the Main
Many items from the Library's special collections are accessible
to users but are not represented in this catalog. In addition, some
individual items within collections (microforms, manuscripts, photographs,
etc.) are not listed separately in the Catalog, but are represented
by collection-level catalog records.
The Catalog includes romanized records for Chinese, Japanese and
Korean language material cataloged since 1984, Hebrew and Yiddish
cataloged since 1988, and Arabic and Persian cataloged since 1991.
These catalog records appear in the Library of Congress Online
in the roman alphabet and with English language subject headings.
Library Holdings, Location, and Status Information
Each catalog record indicates where onsite users should request Library
materials. Other users should consult the Interlibrary
Loan policy for the Library of Congress. Records in the Online
Catalog will generally indicate that the Library holds one copy of
a work, even though additional copies may actually be available in
the Library's collections. Library staff will begin entering information
about additional copies in the near future. The Library will also
be incorporating more detailed information about serials holdings,
indicating which issues are available and where they should be requested.
In addition to holdings and location information, the catalog
record supplies information on the circulation status of library
materials. Some circulation information may not be complete, since
many materials in the Library (including many special collections
materials) are not handled by the circulation system at this time.
Catalog users should consult reference staff if they have questions
about holdings or the circulation status of any materials.
Other Databases and Electronic Research
In addition to the Library of Congress Online Catalog, users have
access to recent issues of the Handbook
of Latin American Studies (HLAS). HLAS is accessible by selecting
the [Other Databases] button from the top button bar on most
Catalog screens. Other electronic
research tools, some of which provide supplementary access to
the Library's collections, can be found on the Library of Congress
Special Notes for Libraries
There are several notable features
and changes important to librarians using the Library of
Congress Online Catalog:
- Name and Subject Authority records
cannot be directly searched or retrieved in the online
catalog. To search authority records directly, please go
to Library of Congress Authorities:
The online catalog does provide information from authority
records by means of cross references (marked with the icon)
or scope notes (marked with the icon) which can be accessed from the Headings
List produced by using the Author/Creator Browse or Subject Browse located in the Basic
21 is the
online catalog's content designation standard, including
a number of locally defined fields.
- Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) searching is
available from the LCCN-ISBN-ISSN
Search Type found in the Basic Search screen.
- It is not possible to store search results sets for further
manipulation; however, searches may be refined and combined
using the Guided Search
and Command Keyword search
- An online guide to Command
Keyword Index Codes is available.
- CONSER (Cooperative
Serials Cataloging Program) records of other institutions
are not in the online catalog;
only those serials the Library has acquired and continues
to acquire are available.
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