The Library of Congress subject headings system was originally designed as a controlled vocabulary to more accurately define the subject and form of the books and serials in the Library of Congress collection. As an increasing number of other libraries have adopted this system, it has become a tool for subject indexing of library catalogs in general.
An example will help clarify this use of controlled vocabulary. World War II is a huge topic of interest to many people. Yet, when you search that phrase in our online catalog. There are a number of ways to refer to this war, including World War Two, World war II, WWII, WW2, the second World War, etc. Each term will likely return a list of items when searched in the catalog. But note that for each search the catalog provides a link that reads "Related Headings." When you click on this button, you learn that the proper "LC Subject term" is "World War, 1939-1945." This is the official descriptor for this war and the term that will return the greatest number of items. Note on each bibliographic record returned in the catalog that there are extensions to the terms that further specify the work in question: for example, World War, 1939-1945--aerial operations to World War, 1939-1945--Atrocities to World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Africa North!
As convoluted as LC subject headings may seem, they really do provide an unprecedented means of narrowing the focus of your research! One of the biggest pitfalls for novice researchers is choosing a topic that is too broad for the scope of the assignment. Take time to look through the subject headings. You'll be rewarded by improved precision and quality of your searches.
Search for materials physically held in the Library
E-Books purchased or leased are continually added to the E-Books database.
ProfSearch is a "next-generation" discovery tool based on the ProQuest resource: Summon
The World's largest Library catalog. See everything most secondary materials on your subject.
Many of the records in the Library of Congress Catalog contain links to digital versions of the items.
The resources listed below are subscription databases; they cannot be accessed on the open web. For the most part they are all scholarly based. Only CQ Researcher does not meet the strict guidelines of "scholarly"; however, do not defer from searching this source as it is written and maintained by an organization of note. If you are accessing any of the databases from off campus, you will be required to authenticate yourself as a current Rowan community member by keying in your Rowan u/n and p/w.
Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. A CD Rom database, held in Reserves at the Circulation Desk for use in the library.
This is a world-wide online catalog. Search to find other books on your topic of interest. If Rowan owns the book, the record will indicate this. If we do not own it, click on
to request the book from another library. Requests are filled in 3 - 5 days.
Select a link below to link to the Primary Sources Library Guides subject or listed alphabetically.