The Library of Congress Online Catalog
contains approximately 14 million records representing books, serials, computer
files, manuscripts, cartographic materials, music, sound recordings, and
visual materials. The Online Catalog also displays searching aids for users,
such as cross-references and scope notes. The catalog records reside in
a single integrated database; they are not separated according to type of
material, language of material, date of cataloging, or processing/circulation
status. The Online Catalog is available on the Internet at http://catalog.loc.gov/.
As an integrated database, the Online Catalog includes 3.2 million catalog
records from an earlier database. These catalog records, primarily for books
and serials cataloged between 1898 and 1980, are being edited to comply with
current cataloging standards and to reflect contemporary language and usage.
The legend "[from old catalog]" indicates that the headings may deviate from
current Library of Congress cataloging policy. For a complete search of books
and serials cataloged prior to 1980, researchers onsite at the Library should
also use the Main Card Catalog.
Many items from the Library's special collections are accessible to users
but are not represented in either the Online Catalog or the Main Card Catalog.
In addition, some individual items within collections (microforms, manuscripts,
photographs, etc.) are not listed separately in the Online Catalog or the Main
Card Catalog, but are represented by collection-level catalog records. In many
such cases, the reading room holding the items or collections will have specialized
catalogs or finding aids for identifying the materials.
The Online Catalog includes romanized records for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean
language material cataloged since 1984, Hebrew and Yiddish cataloged since
1988, and Arabic and Persian cataloged since 1991. These catalog records appear
in the Library of Congress Online Catalog with English-language subject headings.
In the future, the Online Catalog can display catalog records in the scripts
containing non-Roman characters (e.g. Unicode characters) in any of the JACKPHY
languages (Japanese, Arabaic, Chinese, Korean, Persian, Hebrew, and Yiddish).
At the Computer Catalog Center
near the Main Reading Room, reference librarians provide assistance to researchers
using the computer system. The Computer Catalog Center has a variety of equipment
for people with disabilities.