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US Latinx History Research Guide

A guide for patrons researching the history of U.S. Latinx communities at the UO Libraries.

How to read an LC Call Number

Library of Congress (LC) Call Numbers are like an item's address to help you find where it lives on the shelf. Each letter stands for an academic discipline. In the image below, L is for Education, LD is for Individual Institutions - United States. Can you guess which institution is at LD 4363 .U55 2006

Photo of UO Libraries books on shelf

To read a call number, read the number from left to right or top to bottom as follows:

  1. Alphabetically (L before LC, LC before LD)
  2. Numerically (4362.3 before 4363
  3. Alphabetically (.A before .B
  4. Decimal order (.U2 before .U5 or .U55
  5. (Sometimes there are more pieces in alphabetical and then numerical order here)
  6. Finally, chronologically (1985 before 2006) This is year of publication and may or may not be included.

Lastly, the shelf is organized from top to bottom in sections, so you'll zig-zag down each section zig zag arrow starting at top left and moving downward to the right and back, like the left to right direction of reading in Englishto look for your call number before moving to the next section. 

Bonus: You can also click the "Locate" option in LibrarySearch to see a floor map with the number of the shelf your item is on.

LC Subject Classification

Library of Congress Classification Subject Areas

Please note, some of the UO Libraries' materials may be located in branch libraries or special locations within Knight Library.

Letter
Subject Area
A General Works
B Philosophy, Psychology, Religion
C Auxiliary Sciences of History
D World History
E History of the Americas
F History of the Americas
G Geography, Anthropology, Recreation
H Social Sciences
J Political Science
K Law
L Education
M Music
N Fine Arts
P Language and Literature
Q Science
R Medicine
S Agriculture
T Technology
U Military Science
V Naval Science
Z Bibliography, Library Science, Information Resources

To drill down into the LC Classification Outline, use the link below:

Using LC Subject Headings to Search

What are LCSH?

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 "Latina" is not an official LCSH and "Latinos" is listed as a variant.

Catalog record for book "Dance and the Hollywood Latina: race, sex, and stardom" with Subject headings

Using LCSH in your LibrarySearch searches

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.

LibrarySearch Subject search for Eugene (Or.) -- History

About LCSH Subdivisions

About Subject Heading Subdivisions

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 Examples Useful for:

Topical – What this item is about (content)

Museums

Aging

Statistical Methods
Narrowing a broader topic into subtopics

Form 

Dictionaries

Periodicals

Textbooks
Useful for locating specific types of materials

Chronological

21st century

Japanese Heian period, 794-1185

Middle Ages, 600-1500
Locating information about a particular era or time period 

Geographical (place)

England --London

Eugene (Or.)

Narnia (Imaginary place)
Finding information about a specific place or region
Other Common Subdivisions

Bibliography

Biography

Criticism and interpretation

Translations into [language]

Social life and customs

Fiction
Locating bibliographies, fiction, etc. 

Cataloging librarians follow specific rules for adding LC Subject Headings to an items record. For questions, please contact libref@uoregon.edu.

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UO LibrarySearch - Find articles, books, and more

LibrarySearch offers a streamlined interface for finding books and other media that combines the collections of UO Libraries and Summit libraries.

UO logo with "LibrarySearch" catalog name

University of Oregon Libraries
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97403-1299
T: (541) 346-3053
F: (541) 346-3485
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