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Finding Books for Women's Studies


Understanding the Library's call number system can save you time in locating information. Because call numbers are assigned to the first subject heading listed for a book in the HSU Library Catalog, knowing something about call numbers will also help you to evaluate the results of searches you perform in the catalog. Our Library uses the same call numbers for our Reference Collection, our print periodicals, and our main book stacks. Once you have identified the call number or numbers relevant to your subject, you can use this information to browse in the various parts of the Library.

Our Library uses the Library of Congress Classification System to assign call numbers. In this system, which is based on the alphabet, the first two or three lines of a call number identify the subject of a book or other item. At the beginning of each subject section go general works, such as the history, biography, or overviews of the subject. Following that, there are sections for more specific aspects of the subject. Each letter section of the LC Classification has its own organizing principles that make sense for the subject being classified. For example, in the art section, the main divisions are by medium, such as architecture, sculpture, painting, etc. In the biology section, the basic arrangement follows the classification of lifeforms; the history section is first organized by areas of the world. Because Women's Studies is interdisciplinary, books of interest may be found in many different parts of the library's collection. The section of the LC Classification that is most relevant to Women's Studies as such is HQ, a subdivision of H, which is for "social sciences." Call numbers beginning with HQ are for "the family, marriage, women."

Here is an abbreviated guide to call numbers in HQ:

HQ 12 - HQ 449
  HQ 19 - HQ 30.7
  HQ 75 - HQ 76.8
HQ 503 - HQ 1064
  HQ 998 - HQ 999
HQ 1075
HQ 1101 - HQ 2030.7
Sexual life
  Sexual behavior and attitudes. Sexuality
  Homosexuality. Lesbianism
Family. Marriage. Home
  Unmarried mothers
Sex Role
Women. Feminism

To find books, use library catalogs, such as the HSU Library Catalog, WorldCat, or other libraries. Searching by keywords is usually the best way to begin. Then use subject headings in relevant records to make your search more precise, if possible.

The subject headings for searches in the HSU Catalog also work in most other library catalogs, and search techniques are similar. If you need help in searching a particular library catalog, please Ask a Librarian.

If our Library doesn't own a book that you want, please request it from our Interlibrary Loan service. Please note that our interlibrary loan service is available to currently enrolled HSU students, faculty, and staff only.