Subject Searching in the Online Catalog

As the name implies, a subject search allows you to find resources that go in-depth into your topic. Unlike keyword searches, subject searches only check the subject field for matches; furthermore, this type of search uses a very specific vocabulary, so not just any search phrase will yield the desired results! These search terms are called Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH for short). For example:

  • subject search for acquired immune deficiency would yield no titles, but suggest other search terms.
  • subject search for AIDS (Disease) would yield more than 120 items on campus.

Subject Searches can also be used to find books about a person or organization. Often people will try to search for books about a person by using the author search, but those only yield material by an author, not about them. Instead, use the Subject Search to find books about a specific author.

For example, searching addams jane retrieves 22 items from the library catalog, including:

Searching freud sigmund retrieves over 500 sources about him and his work, including:

Finally, searching national association of social workers will yield over 25 items about the organization, such as:


Tips on Searching by Subject

  1. Search by keyword using your own words.
  2. Choose a title from the results that appears relevant to your topic.
  3. Click on a Subject heading in the Subject field. A new search will automatically look for the new Subject heading!
  4. Peruse the new titles listed from the Subject search for related books.
| BACK |