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We are excited to share our new Library catalog and search tool! We hope that you will find it easy to search and explore our collections. If you need help, have questions, or want to share feedback, visit the Ask a Librarian page.

Prof. Pohl's courses: a research guide

A guide to resources for research assignments in Prof. Pohl's courses.

LCSH 101

LCSH is a schema used to organize knowledge at libraries in the United States and around the world. The LCSH is a controlled vocabulary, which ensures that the same words and phrases are used across various institutions. 

In many ways, controlled vocabularies are incredibly useful. They ensure a level of consistency; once you know a subject heading, you can search for it in numerous library catalogs.

However, controlled vocabularies can be difficult to alter when words or phrases fall out of use, difficult to update as knowledge changes, and the perspectives of the creator will always be present in the choice of language. There may be certain terminology that you disagree with, or that feels unnatural, being used to describe people, places, or events. For now, you'll have to use those terms in your searches, but know that many librarians in the cataloging field are working hard to update this vocabulary.

The rules governing subject headings are numerous and complex, but some general knowledge can help you as you navigate headings in our catalog.

The first term in a subject heading is usually a topic, a personal/family/corporate name, or a geographical place. For example:

Nationalism
Stalin, Joseph, 1878-1953
Russia

Each of these headings can further be subdivided in numerous ways: geographical, topical, chronological, or by genre. Again, there are many rules that dictate the precise order and type of subdivisions allowed. Some examples of subdivisions are below:

Nationalism -- Russia -- History
Nationalism -- Russia -- History -- 19th century
Stalin, Joseph, 1878-1953 -- Correspondence
Russia -- Social life and customs -- 1533-1917
Russia -- Economic conditions

Advanced searching: primary sources

LCSH uses genre terms to denote various kinds of primary sources. These terms will always be appended to the end of a subject heading. Some useful genre terms are found below, along with examples of how they are used in subject headings.

sources: can be used with subject headings describing historical topics. 

Russia -- History -- February Revolution, 1917 -- Sources
Soviet Union -- History -- Revolution, 1917-1921 -- Sources
Russia -- History -- Nicholas II, 1894-1917 -- Sources
Collectivization of agriculture -- Soviet Union -- History -- Sources
Victims of famine -- Soviet Union -- History -- Sources

interviews: can be used with subject headings for people, corporate bodies, or classes of people/ethnic groups.

Political prisoners -- Soviet Union -- Interviews
Lenin, Vladimir Il'ich, 1870-1924 -- Interviews
Crimean Tatars -- Interviews

You can also use the subject heading interviews subdivided geographically, like Interviews -- Soviet Union, or Interviews -- Russia (Federation).

personal narratives: can be used with subject headings for names of events or wars, or to indicate first-person accounts.

Russia -- History -- February Revolution, 1917 -- Personal narratives
Soviet Union -- History -- Revolution, 1917-1921 -- Personal narratives

diaries: can be used with subject headings for names of individual diarists and classes of people/ethnic groups.

Ambassadors -- Soviet Union -- Diaries
Kurkov, Andrei -- Diaries
Teenage girls -- Soviet Union -- Diaries

biography: can be used with subject headings describing classes of people/ethic groups, or appropriate topical headings. The genre biography cannot be appended to a subject heading of a specific person! Please note, there is no separate genre term for autobiography--this is included in biography.

Statesmen -- Russia -- Biography
Jews, Russian -- Texas -- San Antonio -- Biography
Terrorists -- Russia -- Biography

correspondence: can be used with subject headings for individual people, or classes of people/ethnic groups.

Revolutionaries -- Russia -- Correspondence
Americans -- Russia (Federation) -- Vladivostok -- Correspondence
Kandinsky, Wassily, 1866-1944 -- Correspondence

 There are numerous other genre headings in use. If finding these terms in subject searches is difficult, please use them in keyword searches! You will likely find a different set of results:

sermons
notebooks
sketches
description and travel
treaties
pamphlets
manuscripts
newspapers
periodicals
memoirs
periodicals
pictorial works
architecture
portraits
caricatures and cartoons
cooking
maps
guidebooks
bibliography

 

Advanced searching: Russian history

General chronological designations:

Russia -- History -- To 1533
Russia -- History -- 1237-1480
Russia -- History -- 1533-1613
Russia -- History -- 1613-1689
Russia -- History -- 1613-1917
Russia -- History -- 1689-1801
Russia -- History -- 1801-1917
Russia -- History -- 1904-1914

Russia -- Politics and government -- 1689-1801
Russia -- Politics and government -- 1801-1825
Russia -- Politics and government -- 1801-1917
Russia -- Politics and government -- 1825-1855
Russia -- Politics and government -- 1855-1881
Russia -- Politics and government -- 1881-1894
Russia -- Politics and government -- 1894-1917
Russia -- Politics and government -- 1904-1914

Chronological designations based on ruler:

Muscovite period
Russia -- History -- Ivan III, 1462-1505
Russia -- History -- Ivan IV, 1533-1584
Russia -- History -- Fyodor I, 1584-1598
Russia -- History -- Boris Fyodorovich Godunov, 1598-1605
Russia -- History -- Michael, 1613-1645
Russia -- History -- Aleksei Mikhailovich, 1645-1676
Russia -- History -- Fyodor III, 1676-1682
Russia -- History -- Sofia Alekseevna, 1682-1689
Imperial period
Russia -- History -- Peter I, 1689-1725
Russia -- History -- Catherine I, 1725-1727
Russia -- History -- Peter II, 1727-1730
Russia -- History -- Anna, 1730-1740
Russia -- History -- Ivan VI, 1740-1741
Russia -- History -- Elizabeth, 1741-1762
Russia -- History -- Peter III, 1762
Russia -- History -- Catherine II, 1762-1796
Russia -- History -- Paul I, 1796-1801
Russia -- History -- Alexander I, 1801-1825
Russia -- History -- Nicholas I, 1825-1855
Russia -- History -- Alexander II, 1855-1881
Russia -- History -- Alexander III, 1881-1894
Russia -- History -- Nicholas II, 1894-1917

Chronological designations based on event:

Russia -- History -- Period of Consolidation, 1462-1605
Russia -- History -- Time of Troubles, 1598-1613
Russia -- History -- Rebellion of Stepan Razin, 1667-1671
Russia -- History -- Streltsy Revolt, 1698
Russia -- History -- Astrakhan Uprising, 1705-1706
Russia -- History -- Bulavin Uprising, 1707-1709
Russia -- History -- Rebellion of Pugachev, 1773-1775
Russia -- History -- Invasion, 1812
Russia -- History -- December Uprising, 1825
Russia -- History -- Kandiyevka Uprising, 1861
Russia -- History -- Revolution, 1905-1907
Russia -- History -- February Revolution, 1917

Advanced searching: Soviet history

General chronological designations:

Soviet Union -- History -- 1917-1936
Soviet Union -- History -- 1925-1953
Soviet Union -- History -- 1939-1945
Soviet Union -- History -- 1953-1985
Soviet Union -- History -- 1985-1991

Soviet Union -- Politics and government -- 1917-1936
Soviet Union -- Politics and government -- 1936-1953
Soviet Union -- Politics and government -- 1945-1991
Soviet Union -- Politics and government -- 1953-1985
Soviet Union -- Politics and government -- 1985-1991

Chronological designations based on event:

Soviet Union -- History -- Revolution, 1917-1921
     (Scope note: works on the revolution and subsequent civil war that brought the Bolsheviks to power and resulted in the formation of the      Soviet Union.)
Russia (Federation) -- History -- Revolution, 1917-1921
     (Scope note: works on the revolutionary period in the Russian Republic.)
Soviet Union -- History -- Izhevsk-Votkinsk Revolt, 1918
Soviet Union -- History -- Allied intervention, 1918-1920
Soviet Union -- History -- Famine, 1921-1922
Ukraine -- History -- Famine, 1932-1933
     (Scope note: use for Holodomor.)
Soviet Union -- History -- German occupation, 1941-1944
Hungary -- History -- Revolution, 1956
Poland -- History -- Uprising, 1956
Czechoslovakia -- History -- Intervention, 1968-
     (Scope note: use for Prague Spring.)
Czechoslovakia -- History -- Velvet Revolution, 1989
Soviet Union -- History -- Attempted coup, 1991

Unlike prior periods in Russian history, there is no chronological subdivision by ruler for the Soviet period, either for Communist Party general secretary or president.

Advanced searching: post-Soviet history

General chronological designations:

Russia (Federation) -- History -- 1991-

Chronological designations based on event:

Czechoslovakia -- History -- Velvet Revolution, 1989
Romania -- History -- Revolution, 1989
Moldova -- History -- Declaration of Independence, 1991
​Yugoslav War, 1991-1995
Yugoslavia -- History -- 1992-2003

     (Scope note: use for the dissolution of Yugoslavia.)
Russia (Federation) -- History -- October Crisis, 1993
Chechnia (Russia) -- History -- Civil War, 1994-
Kosovo War, 1998-1999
Georgia (Republic) -- History -- Rose Revolution, 2003
Ukraine -- History -- Orange Revolution, 2004
South Ossetia War, 2008
Ukraine -- History -- Euromaidan Protests, 2013-2014
Ukraine Conflict, 2014-
Crimea (Ukraine) -- Annexation to Russia (Federation)
     (Scope note: this is not an officially established heading, but I have seen it in use.)

 

Sample searches

subject search: Russia History

subject search: Soviet Union History

subject search: Prague Spring