The Library of Congress Subject Headings is a thesaurus, which helps you find words to use when you search by subject.
Broad subjects are subdivided by topic, form, geographically and/or chronologically. Most library catalogues and indexes use a subject approach similar to the Library of Congress. When a subject is broad, it is subdivided in the following ways:
You can have both historical and geographic subdivisions:
Or subdivisions which combine form with another subdivision:
How You Know If the Subject Term You Use Is a Good One
means your term is good and you can also try their suggested terms
Search for or -- See
means your term doesn't work and you need to try their suggested terms
Browsing the Dance Subject Search
Dance Subject Search
Note there are over sixty subjects related to Dance. The list is in alphabetic order and you can follow the Links to any subject of interest.
See and See Also References are identified on the List:
If you search for Dance Periodicals you can browse the list of periodicals. Remember this list includes periodicals currently published as well as titles, which are ceased. Be aware that not all dance periodicals are classed under "dance periodicals"; ballet periodicals have their own subject heading, "ballet periodicals".
If you find a book you like. Return to the online catalog and check the subject headings used. It's always a good idea to track subject headings of any book you find of value.
Comparing Subject Searching with Keyword Searching
Keyword searching provides more flexibility than searching by subject headings but you may sacrifice precision, i.e., you may get a number of false hits. However, you can use phrases and strategies such as proximity searching or you can limit your searches by language, year, publication type, library location, etc. to try and increase the precision of your search.
Subject searches use set terminology as determined by the Library of Congress Subject Headings.
A keyword search of (dance or dancing or dancers) and aesthetics in the UW Libraries Online Catalog provides over 70 results; a subject search of Dance Aesthetics currently provides only one.