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LTWL 172: Parzival & The Grail: Subject Headings in Roger

A guide to Geisel Library resources for LTWL 172.

Subject Headings in Roger

          Roger, the UCSD Libraries' online catalog, defaults to a keyword search. However, keyword searches often lead to irrelevant book references because the terms you are searching for are used in entirely different contexts. Although it takes a little more effort, using fixed Subject Headings generally gets you to the most relevant books the Library owns on a subject. To search by subject, change the drop-down box that says "keyword" to "general subjects."  The following examples of actual Library of Congress Subject Headings demonstrate that some are very specific ("Wolfram...--Parzival"), some are fairly broad ("French Literature to 1500"), and others are in between ("Grail--Legends").

  • Wolfram, von Eschenbach, 12th cent. – Parzival
  • Wolfram, von Eschenbach, 12th cent. – Criticism and Interpretation
  • Perceval (Legendary Character)—Romances—History and Criticism
  • Grail—Legends—History and Criticism
  • German Literature—Middle High German, 1050-1500
  • English Literature—Middle English, 1100-1500
  • French Literature to 1500

The same subject headings are used in virually all academic libraries in the U.S., so you can use them in Melvyl (the catalog of the University of California system) or The Circuit (which includes SDSU, USD, and CSU San Marcos).