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Search Tips

Searching Across the Library of Congress

To search across multiple Library of Congress collections and materials, use the box located at the top of our home page. Within your results, use the facets (categories) on the left to narrow your searches. Search for a specific format by using the drop-down arrow next to the search box to indicate the format; e.g., search “Irish American” indicating audio recordings.

Tip: For the most effective way to search for books, see the following information about searching the Library of Congress Online Catalog.

Library of Congress Online Catalog

You can search the catalog by keywords and Library of Congress Subject Headings.

Here are examples of keyword searches entered in the initial search box:
Irish Americans correspondence
Irish Americans sources

Searching with Library of Congress Subject Headings can be more precise. Use the “Search Options” to select BROWSE and select “Subjects beginning with” to see a wealth of topics such as these:

Irish—United States

Narrower term: Irish Americans
Subdivides geographically, topically, and chronologically. For example:

Irish Americans--History
Irish Americans--Massachusetts
Irish Americans--1840-1850
Irish Americans--History--19th century
Irish Americans--History--20th century

Irish Americans--Biography
Irish Americans--Social conditions--19th century
Irish Americans--Social conditions--20th century
Irish Americans--Societies
Irish Americans--Ethnic Identity
Irish Americans--Cultural assimilation

Ireland--Emigration and immigration--History--19th century
New Jersey--Emigration and immigration--History
New York (N.Y.)--Emigration and immigration--History
United States--Emigration and immigration
Immigrants--United States--History


American fiction--Irish-American authors
Irish American women--Fiction
Irish Americans--Fiction
Irish Americans--Intellectual life
Irish Americans in literature
American poetry--Irish American Authors
Irish Americans--Poetry
Irish Americans--Music

Other Reference Sources

Searching WorldCat for Book Locations

OCLC WorldCat is a database showing the combined holdings of more than 70,000 libraries. Use the advanced search to identify what's available for a known author, title, or subject. Holdings can be shown within a specific zip code, city, or state. Many libraries can borrow from other libraries, if needed materials are not held locally.

Tip: not all libraries are included in WorldCat, especially public libraries. It is always useful to check with local librarians about resources on your topic.

Digitized Books and Periodicals

For the most part, full-text materials available at the following sites are older (usually before 1923 because of copyright). Newer books are often searchable, but the full text is not available. Use WorldCat described above to locate the books in a library. Many libraries, including the Library of Congress, offer digitized copies of their books through such online resources as:


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  January 29, 2018
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