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COMM U490 - Senior Seminar in Communication: Books & The Catalog

Communications Senior Seminar LibGuide


Browsing for books & the Library of Congress

Communication research is represented in many Library of Congress Classification schedules; however, these stand out:

  • HM, HN - social aspects of communication, social history, and public opinion
  • J - political aspects of communication
  • KF - law and legislation
  • P 90 - communication and mass media
  • PN 4700-5639 - journalism


Other relevant areas include:

  • HF 5801-6182 - advertising
  • PN 1994 - motion pictures
  • Z 218-550 - publishing and book selling

Subject Headings and Contents Notes

Click on the title of a book in the results list to access the record for that book, which includes two useful aids:

PASCAL Delivers

Pascal Delivers offers FREE access to materials at Academic Libraries within South Carolina.  Delivery of materials is usually within 3 - 5 business days.

WorldCat and InterLibrary Loan

WorldCat searches libraries around the world for resources that you can then request via InterLibrary Loan.  

Search for an item in libraries near you: >>

More about LC Classisfication

slide showing key word search and use of more like this button

Different words can be used to describe a subject or topic. When you are looking for a book on the dismissal of employees what words could be used? Dismissal, firing or termination would all be valid. The LC Subjects are standardized lists of words and phrases called controlled vocabulary. That is, only certain words may be used as subject headings which will group all different ways to say the same thing together.  To figure out the Library of Congress subject(s) first do a key word search for your term, find a book that looks like a good bet and look at the LC Subjects listed in that record. Then you can use the LC Subjects listed under that book to link to a group of similar books. These can also help you broaden or narrow your topic if you see Birth control — Religious Aspects that is very specific but you can also use just the first part Birth control as a broader topic.  LC subject headings are not always the same as commonly used terms, often they are dated or awkward. See the examples below.

Your Words Library of Congress Subjects
Movies Motion Pictures
Black drama (American) American drama--Afro-American authors
Permafrost Frozen Ground
Moonshine Distilling, Illicit

If you do a subject search in the catalog for books about "permafrost" you will not find any. Why? The authorized Library of Congress subject used in the catalog is not "permafrost" but "frozen ground." If you look up "permafrost" in the Library of Congress Subject Headings, it will say " USE Frozen ground."" USE is the term the Library of Congress uses to direct you from the incorrect subject heading to the correct heading.

USE Frozen ground