Using Our Catalog to Find What We Have

The Cornell Library Catalog includes the holdings of all the libraries on the Ithaca campus. The catalog contains records for all books, newspapers, journals, magazines, serials, government documents, manuscripts, archival materials, maps, musical scores, computer files, sound recordings, and visual materials.

While the study of gender and sexuality is constantly evolving, the standardized Library of Congress system of subject headings often lags behind the most current or obvious subject term. For example, for genderqueer people, LC currently used gender-nonconforming people.

Be flexible in how you go about searching for relevant secondary sources on sexuality. Keep in mind a wide range of possible search terms in the course of your search. Examine carefully what specific subject headings come up in both older and newer books and databases on your topic.

For example, searching for ecofeminism uncovers the additional search terms ecowomanism, ecowomanist, and ecocreolization (cf. creolization in Oxford Bibliographies Online: Atlantic History).

A good strategy for a comprehensive search is to use keyword searching to find some books on your particular subject; then look at their records to see what standard subject headings were applied to the item, and what additional topic terms appear in the catalog records. Then follow up with a search using those terms. The advantage of subject searching is a more comprehensive search result due to the fact that librarians work hard to determine the main topics and then to assign standardized terms to each item they catalog.

The Library of Congress has an online list of subject headings for LGBTQI research as part of their LGBTQIA+ Studies Resource Guide.