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Library of Congress Subject Headings

Access HANS from the library's home page at:

Most academic libraries including Ohlone College Library use the Library of Congress system which provides both subject headings (used to locate books in the catalog) and classification, or call numbers, (used to locate books on the shelf).

Find Subject Headings with a HANS Keyword Search

A productive way to search for books is to find the Library of Congress subject headings that are relevant to your topic, and to search for books classified as being about those subjects. It may not be easy to find all of these subject headings. A good way to find relevant subject headings is to start with a HANS (Ohlone Library's Catalog) "keyword" search. Then choose a few books, click on their titles, and look at their subject headings. Usually you can click on a subject heading to search for other books about that subject.

For example, the record for a book on domestic violence would have this information:
Title: Domestic violence : [opposing viewpoints] / Tamara L. Roleff, book editor.
Primary Material: Book
Publisher: San Diego, Calif. : Greenhaven Press, c2000.
Subject(s): Family violence.
If you click on the phrase "Family violence," you will be taken to more items on this subject.

Find Subject Headings with the Library of Congress "Red Books"

Another way to find subject headings is to use the five red Library of Congress Subject Headings print volumes located next to the computer area in Ohlone Library. For example, if you look up "fur coats" you will see;
Fur coats
USE Fur garments
This means "Fur garments" is an official Library of Congress subject heading (as opposed to fur coats, which is not a subject heading). Here is the entry for Fur garments;

Fur garments May Subd Geog
        [GT2070 (Manners and customs)]
        [TT525 (Manufacture)]
   UF    Fur coats
           Furs (Clothing)
   BT    Clothing and dress

When using the red volumes, it is helpful to know what the symbols stand for:
UF used for
BT broader term
RT related term
SA see also
NT narrower term
(May Subd Geog): place terms may follow the heading

This information is also available on the first page of every volume. Also, the lines following the subject heading list the Library of Congress call number areas where books on this subject can be found on the shelves. Remember, any subject heading (in bold) found in the Library of Congress subject heading volumes can be used in a subject search of the Ohlone Library catalog. Simply go to HANS, select "Subject Heading" just under "Search by:," and search with your subject heading.

Find Subject Headings with the Library of Congress Classification Outline

Finally, you can also find subject headings by browsing through the Library of Congress Subject heading outline.

Reference librarians will be happy to help you with any problems you have in working with Library of Congress Subject headings.

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This document was last modified: Tuesday, 24-Sep-2013 15:53:05 Pacific Daylight Time