Library of Congress Online Catalog: Help Pages

  Online Catalog Home

  About the Catalog
  FAQs - What's New
  Known Problems

  Displaying Non-Roman

  Basic Search Overview
  Keyword Searches:
  - Keyword
  - Title Keyword
  - Author/Creator
  - Subject Keyword
  - Name/Title
  - Series/Uniform Title
  Other Searches:
  - Expert Search
  - Title Begins With
  - Author/Creator Browse
  - Subject Browse
  - Call No. Browse (LC)
  - Call No. Browse (Other)
  - Number Search
  - Author Sorted by Title
  Guided Search

  Limiting Searches
  Search History
  Boolean Searching

  for Guided Searches
  for Expert Searches

  Brief Record
  Full Record
  MARC Tags

  Headings List
  Titles List
  Titles List (Keyword)
  References/Scope Notes
  Save, Print, Email

  Headings List Types
  Material Types
  Database Selection
  Icons, Buttons & Tabs
  Session Time-Outs

What's New

May 19, 2008 - New Searches Available

The Library of Congress Online Catalog has been upgraded to a new version. The most notable features of the upgraded online catalog are some new searches available through the Basic Search screen, as well as the ability to search the Holdings index from the Guided Search screen.

Image of new Basic Search screen

The searches are grouped with keyword searches listed first, followed by expert, left-match and browse searches (while most of the original searches remain, some have been renamed).

Keyword (match all words)* - searches all fields in the bibliographic record. The more words you provide in your search, the more relevant your results will be. Limits are available for this search.

Title Keyword* - is a keyword search across all subfields for all title fields. This includes subtitles, alternate titles, and the statement of responsibility. Limits are available for this search.

Author/Creator, Subject, Name/Title and Series Title - are keyword searches, across all subfields for authors, subjects, name/title and series titles heading fields (established headings).

Expert Search (use index codes and operators)* - is the new name for Command Keyword. There is no change in functionality. Search limits are available.

The remaining searches were available in the previous version of the catalog. Title Begins With (omit initial article)* is the title search where you must enter words from the title, starting the first word, in order (always omit the initial article). The remaining browse searches and number search are unchanged from the former version of the online catalog.

Other Features Added

The default number of results per page is now 100 (it was formerly 25).

Guided Search now offers three boxes for entering search terms (increased from two boxes).

A new index has been added to Guided Search for the Holdings information.

August 17, 2006 - Session Timeout Alert Implemented

The Library of Congress Online Catalog is currently set to timeout after 5 minutes of inactivity. Timeouts are necessary due to simultaneous user limits that must be in place in order to assure an acceptable level of system performance. Previously, users received no warning prior to session timeout.

The new "Session Timeout Alert" provides the user with a continuous count down clock displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the browser window in the status bar, as well as a pop-up window alert that appears 1 minute prior to timeout. From the pop-up box, users can easily refresh the session and restart the 5 minute clock. In addition, if a timeout does occur, the user will have the option of restarting their session and returning immediately to the most recent search conducted.

Special Note to Users of Screen Readers: The "Session Timeout Alert" feature is not currently recognized by screen readers like "Window-Eyes." The Library is aware of this problem and is in the process of rewriting the script for this feature so that it will be fully accessible to all users in the near future.

Special Instructions for Firefox Users: In order to get the full benefit of this new timeout warning feature, you will need to enable the browser's status bar, which is generally off by default. To do this, open the Firefox browser, select Tools, then Options and a pop-up window will appear (see below).

Image: Firefox Settings

Make sure that the "Globe" icon (Content) is selected (shown above). Next, select the "Advanced" button (found to the right of the "Enable JavaScript" line). In the resulting window, select the box next to "Change status bar text" (a check mark should appear).

Image: Status Bar Text

Select OK twice in order to close both windows and save the update.

Special instructions for Opera Users: In order to get the full benefit of this new timeout warning feature, you will need to enable the browser's status bar, which is generally off by default. To do this, open the Opera browser, select Tools, then Appearance, and a pop-up window will appear (see below):

Image: Opera browser appearance screen

then select the Toolbars tab, enter a check in the Status Bar box, then select OK to accept the change.

Image: Opera Toolbars Screen

Please report any problems to

November 12, 2005 - Display of Non-Roman Characters

The Library of Congress Online Catalog enables users to search, view, and print using non-Roman (Unicode) characters in the JACKPHY languages and scripts (Japanese, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, Hebrew and Yiddish).

Sample of Catalog Record with Arabic Characters:
Image: Arabic Record

For information on how to display or search in non-Roman characters (Unicode), please view our new help screen:

Displaying and Searching Non-Roman Characters in the Online Catalog (Unicode)

More Ways to Print and Save

There are now more formats available for printing and saving records from the Image: Formats Drop-Down Menuonline catalog:


Text (Brief Information) provides a brief labeled display for saving or printing (corresponding to the , while Text (Full Information) provides a labeled display showing all fields present in each record.


The MARC formats can ONLY be saved. MARC (non-Unicode/MARC-8) is the most compatible format. However, if you need to save non-Roman characters in "unicode" you will need to use MARC (Unicode/UTF-8).

Problems with Emailing Records

Bibliographic records with non-Roman scripts or characters can be emailed, however the non-Roman script characters will be replaced with dots in order to ensure transmission via email. Users may prefer to print or save records instead of emailing them.

Authority records with non-Roman scripts or characters can be emailed, but the ability to display the non-Roman scripts or characters may depend on the user's email system ( Since not all email systems are capable of handling non-Roman scripts or characters, users may prefer to print or save authority records instead of emailing them.

Use the browser's [Back] button to resume searching.

>>Top of Page

  Still Need Help?
  Ask a Librarian

  Reporting Catalog Errors?
  Error Report Form

Library of Congress Online Catalog  
Library of Congress Authorities  
Library of Congress Home Page  
July 15, 2008