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Introduction to the Family History Library Catalog > Subject Search
Do a Subject Search when you want to find Library of Congress subject headings, which include such items as the names of native races (Blacks, Chippewa Indians, and so forth), nationalities (Swedes, Australians), occupations (painters, shipbuilders, and so forth), religious groups (Quakers, Baptists, and so forth), and languages (Danish, Japanese, and so forth).
To search for records that are about or from a specific place, use a Place Search.
To search for records about a surname, use a Surname Search.
Steps to Search by Subject
- Go to the Family History Library Catalog.
- Click Subject Search.
- Type a subject related to records of interest.
- Click Search.
- You will be given a listing of subjects
- Click on the specific subject that most closely matches your interest.
You will then be given records related to that subject. Select a record to learn more about it.
If the record has a film associated with it, you can click on View Film Notes to identify the specific film number.
Strategies for Using the Subject Search
The more of a subject you type, the more specific your results will be. If you type only part of a subject, you may have a longer results list. For example, if you type Navajo as your subject, the list displays several subjects about Navajo Indians, such as "Navajo Indians - Genealogy," "Navajo Indians - Maps," "Navajo - Language," and "Navajo Indians - History." But, if you type Navajo Indians - History, only that subject will appear on your list.
You do not need to know the exact order of the words in the subject you want to find. The computer finds all subjects that contain the words you type, no matter where they appear in the subject.
How Do I Understand the Results of a Subject Search?
A Subject Search results in a list of subjects that closely match the information you typed. If the list contains the subject you want, click on it to see the Subject Details record.
The Subject Details record contains some or all of the following information:
- The name of the subject.
- The catalog entries to which the subject is tied.
- References to other subjects.
- Notes about the subject.
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