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History: Books

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Search with Library of Congress Subject Headings

When searching for books on your topic, it can be helpful to use Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). Subject headings are descriptive terms or phrases assigned to a book or other work. They are assigned from a list of preferred terms described by the Library of Congress.


  • Overland journeys to the Pacific
  • California--Gold discoveries

You can search by subject to find books on a specific topic. Unless you know of an exact subject heading, the most precise way to do this is to do a keyword search to find a title of interest, scroll down to "Subject" in the catalog record, and click on a relevant subject heading. You can also use advanced search to search the subject field specifically. This can be especially helpful when searching for primary sources, as published collections of primary sources will have descriptive genre terms.


  • Sources
  • Narratives
  • Correspondence
  • Interviews
  • Diaries
  • Speeches
  • Manuscripts

Understand Library of Congress Call Numbers

The first few letters of the call numbers indicate the book's section in the library. Visit these sections on the fourth floor if you'd like to browse:

D  World History and History of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, etc.

DA Great Britain
DC France - Andorra - Monaco
DD Germany
DF Greece
DG Italy - Malta
DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics - Poland
DS Asia
DT Africa

E- F  History of the Americas

F1-975 United States Local History
F836-850 Nevada
F1201-3799 Latin America. Spanish America