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 general terms not found in the title. Subject headings in online databases are often referred to as descriptors, but they serve the same purpose in locating valuable resources. Using a "keyword" search will identify catalog entries that contain those specific terms which can add value to a search; however, the terms can be found anywhere - author, notes, publisher, etc. - therefore there is no indication of the value of the term(s) as content matter of the items in a results list.
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 the Libraries' online catalog. If you want to see the subject headings for a specific title, click on the "details" link in the title record.
Critical works are classified and sorted by author's name, dates of birth and death, and the subheading, Criticism and Interpretation. Here are some examples:
This usage works on most databases, but check 'Help' sections for supported search syntax.
art* (asterisk as truncation character) searches for art, arts, artistic, artful, etc.
m?n (question mark as wildcard character) searches for man and men.