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LGBTQIA+ Resources for OWU Students

The Problem

The Library of Congress classification system was created in 1897 and some of the terms within the system marginalized minority groups like the LGBTQIA+ community. Little has been done to fix this, making searches for items related to those topics difficult. Here's how to find resources while working with an imperfect system.

Subject Headings vs. Keywords

subject heading helps categorize books and connects them with others on the same subject. It is not a keyword (a general phrase) used to search. Headings are specific, more formal, and sometimes difficult to work. You can find them beneath the book's description in  or .


The Solution

LGBTQIA+ subject headings may not be intuitive. For help, check out the Queer Library of Congress Subject Headings to help you determine what subject heading(s) you should use to find the best results.

For example, if you're looking for information on people who no longer identify as LGBTQIA+, you may be using terms such as "former gays." However, if you use CTRL+F on the QueerLCSH site, you will find that the subject heading that will get you the most information is "ex-gays."

The abbreviations are: UF = used for, BT = broader terms, NT = narrower terms.


You need books regarding gays in the Holocaust. You search gays in the Holocaust in the Keyword box which would bring you to a book like this. 

However, to get more effective results, use the subject heading which can be found in the red box:

This leads you to the location of your specific subject heading in the list list of all subject headings.

By clicking on the subject heading(s) that work for your topic, you access all the books regarding this specific subject heading(s) within your system.

If you have any questions, contact your librarian.