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Multicultural Literature of the United States: Library
Catalog

This guide contains tips and strategies for locating biographical and critical information on American writers grouped by ethnicity (e.g., African-American, Jewish-American, etc.), as well a bibliography of resources, both in print and online.

Juno Diaz

Using Library of Congress Subject Headings

Using Library of Congress (LC) subject headings for ethnic-americans

Though subject heading searches may be performed in either of the CU Library catalogs, in this instance the Classic Catalog is the more efficient option. On the Basic Search screen, select Subject Heading from the Search by menu and enter the appropriate terms.

The generic forms of LC subject headings and sub-headings under which ethnic-American literatures are classified are listed below. Substitite the adjectival form of the ethnicity for the word 'ethnic.' For example, you might enter a search in the Library Catalog as: hispanic americans--fiction. Substitute the literary form (e.g., fiction, drama, poetry) for 'genre,' as in american poetry--jewish authors.

  • [ethnic] americans--literary collections
  • [ethnic] american women--literary collections
  • [ethnic] american lesbians--literary collections
  • [ethnic] americans--fiction
  • [ethnic] americans--poetry
  • [ethnic] americans--drama
  • american literature--[ethnic] american authors
  • american poetry--[ethnic] american authors
  • american drama--[ethnic] american authors
  • short stories, american--[ethnic] american authors
  • american [genre]--jewish authors*
    * (Note that the subheading for Jewish authors does not use the hyphenated term "Jewish-American.")

You may also use the subdivision minority authors after literary form headings. For example:

  • american poetry--minority authors
  • american drama--minority authors
  • american fiction--minority authors
  • short stories, american--minority authors

A number of LC headings are also useful for finding more generalized materials on ethnic literatures. As a rule, they are not subdivided by geography or country name:

  • ethnic groups in literature
  • ethnic relations in literature
  • ethnicity in literature
  • immigration in literature
  • marginality, social, in literature
  • minorities in literature
  • minority women in literature
  • multiculturalism in literature
  • pluralism (social sciences) in literature