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To locate memoirs, letters, interviews, diaries, etc.


Searching ANTPAC by subject headings and genre terms often results in a more focused list of relevant materials than you might retrieve by a keyword search. Subject headings are controlled terms that the Library of Congress uses and many other libraries follow. There are also standardized subdivisions or subheadings for those subject headings that are useful for searching for primary sources. Genre terms are used to describe categories of materials often found in general rare book libraries or special collections.

Some examples of particular subdivisions and genre terms that will lead you to primary sources are:

  • autobiographies
  • correspondence
  • diaries
  • early works to 1800
  • interviews
  • letters
  • memoirs
  • oral histories
  • overland journals
  • pamphlets
  • personal narratives
  • slave narratives
  • sources
  • speeches

Here are some examples of subject headings, using both subdivisions and genre terms:

Topical: Women - Social conditions
Geographical: Women - California - Los Angeles
Architectural photographs – California – Orange County
English-only Movement – California – Case Studies
German Americans – California – Orange County – Biography
Chronological: Women - Social conditions - 19th century
United States – Social Conditions – To 1865
Form: Women - Social conditions - Bibliography
Surfing – California - Orange County – Biography
Refugees – Southeast Asia – Archives
Prisoners – California – Personal Narratives
Mexican Americans – History – Sources
Oral Histories – California – Orange County – 20th century
Overland Journals – 19th Century
Letters – 19th Century
Gehry, Frank O., 1929- Interviews
Japanese Americans – Evacuation and Relocation, 1942-1945 – Sources

ANTPAC example

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