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U.S. History: Subject Headings

U.S. history

Subject Searching in Bobcat

Finding Books in Bobcat

Subject headings are specific vocabulary that the Library of Congress assigns to published material. You can search Bobcat for books and other materials related to historical research by subject heading. General subject headings in history follow a specific pattern: Place name -- Subdivision -- Time period.

Place names:
Can be names of countries, regions, states, or cities.
Subdivisions:
Describe the particular emphasis of the book.
Time period:
Refers to the years covered by the book. Time period designations vary according to place name and are not included for all headings.


The following examples illustrate possible subject searches for various aspects of late 19-century history:

Place Name Subdivision Time Period
Pennsylvania-- History-- Civil War, 1861-1865
United States-- History--
Intellectual Life--
1865-1898
Social Conditions-- 1865-1918
Emigration and Immigration--
1865-1918
Politics and Government--
1865-1900
Foreign Relations--
1865-1898

Sometimes, however, you may find an alternate pattern, with a specific subject listed first. For example:

Subject Place Name
Subdivision
Time Period
Women-- New York--
History-- 19th Century
Middle Classes--
United States-- History-- 20th Century
Jews-- United States--
History-- 20th Century
African-Americans-- Southern State--
History--
Family-- United States-- History--

For more information, consult the Library of Congress Authorities online (see below) or the five printed volumes in Reference, Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), which contains the subject headings used in BobCat and other library catalogs. Look under the place name or subject to see the appropriate subdivisions and time periods.

To look

Subject Librarian

Andrew H. Lee's picture
Andrew H. Lee
Contact:
Office directions: on the Bobst Mezzanine. West 3rd Street side, I am in room 1M-04E, just past midway (6th door going west), and my name is on the door.

(212) 998-2633