Tuesday, December 19, 2006

New Search (BETA) (Library of Congress)

LoC tries federated searching on their own site! New Search (BETA) (Library of Congress)

Q. Why did you develop the new search?

A. The Library of Congress Web site contains several large sections that, until now, could not be searched at the same time. This situation required users to know exactly which part of the site to visit to find what they wanted. With the Library’s new search, users can now search all of these areas at one time and don’t have to decide which section to search first. In addition, users who regularly visit only one section of the site can now discover resources from other areas in which they might be interested.

Q. Which content is being searched?

A. The new search includes some of the Library’s largest and most popular sections:

American Memory

American Memory provides access to more than 10.5 million digitized primary sources that document American history in the form of manuscripts, maps, prints, photographs, films, sound recordings, sheet music and other items. Most of the materials in American Memory are rare or unique to the Library of Congress. The site also contains materials from other institutions that have partnered with the Library.

Library of Congress Online Catalog

The Library of Congress Online Catalog contains more than 14 million bibliographic records for books, journals and periodicals, electronic resources, manuscripts, maps and cartography, music, prints and photographs, and sound recordings held by the Library of Congress. The Catalog also displays searching aids, such as cross-references and notes on Library of Congress subject headings.

Prints & Photographs Online Catalog

The Prints & Photographs Online Catalog provides access to more than 1 million digital images (and descriptions for about 7 million more) documenting the history and culture of people, places and events in the United States and around the world. In some cases, only thumbnail images are available to those outside the Library of Congress campus because of potential rights considerations. Visit the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog.


THOMAS contains current and historical information on the U.S. Congress and its proceedings and is searchable through several ways. Access is provided to the legislative record, the full text of bills and resolutions, presidential nominations, the text of treaties, the Congressional Record and committee reports. Users can also learn about the legislative process and access materials for teachers such as lesson plans, activities and primary sources. Please note that the version of THOMAS included in this search is our new BETA version and not the current production system.

Library of Congress Web Site

A search of the Library’s Web site will provide links to news, events and activities; exhibitions; Webcasts; sites such as the monthly Wise Guide magazine and the Library’s kids’ site, America’s Library; guides to the Library’s collections; research assistance; information about copyright; help for teachers; history of the Library and more.

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