Skip to main content

Research Guides

Biography & autobiography




Find more: search using subject headings

What are subject headings?

  • The vocabulary librarians use to describe and organize items in the collection
  • Subject headings may be different from the natural language used to describe topics:
Natural language Library of Congress subject headings (controlled vocabulary)
Contemporary Polish composer biographies > Poland--Biography--20th century. Composers
Biographical resources on women in the 20th century, international in scope > Biography--20th century women
Biographies about 21st century American artists > United States--Biographies--21st century. Artists


How can subject headings help me find current biographies?

  • Select subject from the drop-down menu
  • Work your way down the list and select the link that covers your topic
    • Tip: you don't need to use capital letters, periods, or dashes as you see in the above examples

Hey!  Sometimes the language in LC subject headings is offensive!

Yes.  Library of Congress subject headings can sometimes demonstrate cultural or gender bias.  This is a growing field of research in library & information sciences.  Here's an interesting article on changes in subject headings: