Books, videos, and other materials in library catalogs are assigned official subject headings by the Library of Congress (LCSH) by cataloging librarians. These subject headings describe an item's content and what it is about, and are useful for focusing research on broader, narrower, or related topics. Look for subject heading links in the library catalog to find more items on the same topic. Some subject headings are dated or even problematic, and they can be changed through a petition process.
For example, the book Dance and the Hollywood Latina: Race, Sex, and Stardom has LC subject headings to describe it like "Hispanic Americans in motion pictures" and "Race in motion pictures," but (as of 2022), "Latina" is not an official LCSH and "Latinos" is listed as a variant.
If you know the subject headings that are likely to be tagged on the item you want to find, search by Subject. Eugene (Or.) -- History is an example of a Geographical Subject Heading.
Subdivisions, or subheadings, are words or phrases which may be added to a subject heading to create a more effective search. They are hyperlinked in LibrarySearch so that you can use them to see all records they are connected with.
Some standard subheadings are:
|Type of Subdivision
Topical – What this item is about (content)
|Narrowing a broader topic into subtopics
|Useful for locating specific types of materials
Japanese Heian period, 794-1185Middle Ages, 600-1500
|Locating information about a particular era or time period
Eugene (Or.)Narnia (Imaginary place)
|Finding information about a specific place or region
|Other Common Subdivisions
Criticism and interpretation
Translations into [language]
Social life and customsFiction
|Locating bibliographies, fiction, etc.
Cataloging librarians follow specific rules for adding LC Subject Headings to an items record. For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.