A good way to approach finding materials about the Latter Day Saint Movement in the BYU and other library catalogs, particularly when you do not know a particular title or author, is by subject searching. Since we have tens of thousands of resources on the Movement, though, this task can seem a bit daunting. This guide is intended to help you focus your search.
Catalog records use "controlled vocabulary" to bring out subjects. This means that if a concept is known by more than one term, one and only one term will be chosen for to describe the concept in catalog records. A database of these chosen terms is kept, and catalogers draw on that database when adding subject headings to catalog records for particular resources. This vocabulary is called Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), and English-speaking libraries around the world follow it.
For example, if a resource is about "pet fishes" the cataloger consults the database and discovers that "ornamental fishes" is the LCSH controlled term that will be used instead. Knowing about this can be helpful to you, too, since it can save you time by discovering what the controlled term is for the topic you are researching (including in library databases other than BYU's). Otherwise you may need to cast around trying different synonyms until you zero in on the term found in most records for resources on the topic.
LCSH contains controlled vocabulary for terms concerning the various branches of the Latter Day Saint Movement (sometimes called the Restoration Movement). Previous to July 2023 these were all based on the term "Mormon" or "Mormons". These are now all based on the phrase "Latter Day Saint" or "Latter Day Saints". A list of the most common of these subject terms follows on this page.
To perform a subject search in the Library's database
Go to the Library home page.
Click on the drop down arrow to the right of the search box (or left of the magnifying glass).
At the bottom of the popup window, choose "Alphabetic browse"
Click on "subjects"; enter a search term (e.g. Latter Day Saint women)
The following sections on this page contain the terms used in Library of Congress Subject Headings (LSCH), a controlled vocabulary used at BYU, to describe the Latter Day Saint Movement. It is important to understand that these do not describe any one church (e.g. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, based in Salt Lake City). Rather, they are used to describe works on Latter Day Saint (Mormon) denominations or adherents of those denominations treated collectively. Works on individual Latter Day Saint denominations are entered under the name of the denomination. The form "Latter Day Saint" (vs. "Latter-day Saint") is used in LCSH because that is the most common form used within the Latter Day Saint movement taken as a whole.
In BYU practice we frequently pair general LCSH terms with terms specific to the denomination.
For example, the record for a book about women missionaries in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints might contain this pair of headings:
Latter Day Saint women missionaries [this term could also apply to women missionaries from any of the LDS denominations]
The record for a book about doctrines of Community of Christ might contain this pair of headings:
Latter Day Saint churches -- Doctrines [this term could also apply to the doctrines of any of the LDS denominations]
The record for a book about Reorganized Church buildings might contain this pair of headings:
Latter Day Saint church buildings [this term could also apply to church buildings of any of the LDS denominations]
The basic terms describing the Latter Day Saint movement are:
Use one of the terms below in the Library search, or click on the term to be led to the search. Note: this list includes all the terms relating to Latter Day Saints in Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). Not all of them have been used in the BYU Library catalog. These may be useful in searching other libraries' catalogs, including those participating in WorldCat Discovery (see adjoining box on this page).
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