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To search across multiple Library of Congress collections and materials, use the box located at the top of our home page. Within your results, use the facets (categories) on the left to narrow your searches. Search for a specific format by using the drop-down arrow next to the search box to indicate the format (e.g., search “Irish American” indicating audio recordings).
For the most effective way to search for books, see the following information about searching the Library of Congress Online Catalog.
One way to search the Library of Congress Online Catalog is by Keyword. Here are examples of keyword searches entered in the initial search box:
Searching the Library of Congress Online Catalog by Subject Headings can be more precise. To do so, choose the Browse search. From the dropdown menu, select Subjects beginning with and enter topics such as:
You will see how these broader topics subdivide geographically, topically, and chronologically to help you narrow your search. For example:
Continue searching creatively for more subjects related to your research focus, for example:
Consider different angles for discovery, such as these subject headings related to literature:
OCLC WorldCat is a database showing the combined holdings of more than 70,000 libraries. Use the advanced search to identify what's available for a known author, title, or subject. Holdings can be shown within a specific zip code, city, or state. Many libraries can borrow from other libraries, if needed materials are not held locally.
Tip: Not all libraries are included in WorldCat, especially public libraries. It is always useful to check with local librarians about resources on your topic.
For the most part, full-text materials available at the following sites are older (usually before 1927 because of copyright). Newer books are often searchable, but the full text is not available. Use WorldCat described above to locate the books in a library. Many libraries, including the Library of Congress, offer digitized copies of their books through such online resources as: