Subject Heading Searching in the Catalog

You'd think you could enter any topic as a Subject Heading search in the Catalog. However, the Subject Heading search uses special terms to organize books by subject. These are called Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH for short). Other organizations have also developed Subject Headings that are frequently used in university libraries, including NASA and the Department of Education.

If you enter your keywords as a Subject search, you may not get much back. For example:

If you entered a Subject Heading search for: human immunodeficiency virus, the name of the virus that causes AIDS, you would get no books!

But if you searched using the LCSH term, HIV (Viruses) you'd see the library has around 20 books.