Subject headings are words and phrases which constitute a "controlled vocabulary" to categorize books by subject field. Subject headings often indicate the contents of books in terms that their titles (or your keywords) do not use, which often may be very general.
Use general subject headings for searching a broad topic or more specific subject headings for a specific text, film, or play. You will find (more) headings specific to the subject category within the left-hand facets in our online catalog, Bobcat. If you want to see the subject headings for a specific title, click on the "details" link in the title record. Here are some examples:
English literature -- 18th century -- History and criticism
American literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism
Women in literature
You can also use subject headings to locate material on a specific author. When referring to specific people, subject headings often include birth and death dates. Here are some examples:
Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900 -- Biography
Milton, John, 1608-1674 -- Criticism and interpretation
Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 1806-1861
Academic libraries that use the Library of Congress Classification Outline (the majority of them) can easily be browsed for serendipitous discovery of wonderful books in your subject area. All you need to know is the call number range to get yourself situated.
Library of Congress Call Number Areas:
PE - English Language; examples:
PN - Literature (General); examples:
PR - English Literature; examples:
PS - American Literature; examples:
Here is the whole list of the Library of Congress Classification for Class P - Language and Literature:
Literature Online (LION) isn't just for literary criticism - it also contains full-text editions of major works (and some not so major works as well!). There are a number of ways to search for texts, so here are a few:
Search for books, journals, videos, etc. in our local libraries and special collections.
Have you heard about a great book, but found that it is not available in the NYU Libraries? You can now recommend that a copy be purchased for the collection.