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Getting Started with Research

Learn about the research process from topic to writing and citing. Find information about locating sources such as books, articles, and films.

Search the Catalog

Search multiple databases and the library catalog, including ETSU items.

Type in keywords, titles, or authors to find what the library has to offer on your topic.

LC Subject Classification

Library of Congress Classification Subject Areas

Please note, some of the Library's materials may be located in branch libraries or special locations within Basler Library.

Letter
Subject Area
A General Works
B Philosophy, Psychology, Religion
C Auxiliary Sciences of History
D World History
E History of the Americas
F History of the Americas
G Geography, Anthropology, Recreation
H Social Sciences
J Political Science
K Law
L Education
M Music
N Fine Arts
P Language and Literature
Q Science
R Medicine
S Agriculture
T Technology
U Military Science
V Naval Science
Z Bibliography, Library Science, Information Resources

To drill down into the LC Classification Outline, use the link below:

How to read an LC Call Number

Library of Congress (LC) Call Numbers are like an item's address to help you find where it lives on the shelf. Each letter stands for an academic discipline. In the image below, L is for Education, LD is for Individual Institutions - United States. Can you guess which institution is at LD 4363 .U55 2006

Photo of UO Libraries books on shelf

To read a call number, read the number from left to right or top to bottom as follows:

  1. Alphabetically (L before LC, LC before LD)
  2. Numerically (4362.3 before 4363
  3. Alphabetically (.A before .B
  4. Decimal order (.U2 before .U5 or .U55
  5. (Sometimes there are more pieces in alphabetical then numerical order here)
  6. Finally, chronologically (1985 before 2006) This is year of publication and may or may not be included.

Lastly, the shelf is organized from top to bottom in sections, so you'll zig-zag down each section to look for your call number before moving to the next section. 

 

Using LC Subject Headings to Search

What are LCSH?

Books, videos, and other materials in library catalogs are assigned official subject headings by the Library of Congress (LCSH). These subject headings describe an item's content and what it is about, and are useful for focusing research on broader, narrower, or related topics. Look for subject heading links in the library catalog to find more items on the same topic.

For example, the book Zombie Raccoons & Killer Bunnies has the following LC Subject Headings to describe it:

Subjects for the book Zombie Raccoons &Killer bunnies include Animals, Mythical; Animals; short stories; Horror tales; humorous stories; fantasy fiction; horror fiction; and Humorous fiction.

Using LCSH in your Library Catalog searches

If you know the subject headings that are likely to be tagged on the item you want to find, search by Subject. Johnson City (Tenn.) -- History is an example of a Geographical Subject Heading.

Catalog search using a subject heading of Johnson City (Tenn.) -- History

About Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

When a book is not available, either in print or as an eBook, you still have options to get it at no cost to you.  See Interlibrary Loan for more information and to access request forms.