Skip to Main Content

Dance Research Guide: Catalog browsing by call number or subject heading

a guide to outstanding dance resources for research and enrichment

Call number (shelf) browsing

Library of Congress call numbers for dance topics can be used to browse the library's print dance collection via the shelves or online by means of call number catalog searches. If you want to browse the shelves in person, the library's maps will assist you in locating call number areas.   If you'd like to browse by call number, either by examining books on the shelves or by using the TCU Library catalog (see below for the how-to), keep in mind that the library now has many electronic books ("e-books") which you will not see evidence of on the shelves, or in call number searches.  Call number searches will retrieve records for videos, print books and periodicals (journals and magazines), plus electronic book ("e-book") titles that are also available in print.  Titles available only as e-books will not appear.  They will appear with subject, title, and "Words anywhere" searches.  Below are call number areas of interest.

BH1 - 301   Aesthetics
GV1580 - 1799.4   Dance, dancers, dancing
GV201 - 555   Physical education; includes GV443-452, Movement education
M - ML - MT   Music - especially M 1627-1853 (Folk, national and ethnic music), ML 3400-3465 (Dance music), MT 955-56 and MT 960 (Musical theater and Music in the theater). A thorough breakdown is available at lcco/lcco_m.pdf.
N8217 D   Dance in art; Dancers in art; Art and dance
NX456.5 P38   Performance art
PN2085 - 2091   Stagecraft, lighting, scenery design
QP310 D35; RC489 D3; RC1220 D35   Dance - physiological aspects (see also RC); Kinesiology (applied to dance); Dance therapy; Dance medicine, injuries, nutrition
RA781 - 785; RC1200 - 1245   Sports medicine, especially RC1220 B35 and D35, with many works classified as "Dance - physiological aspects"
RD97   Sports injuries
TT507   Costume and fashion design

Below is a call number browse search for GV 1580, Dance.  Call number searches can only be done in Basic Search mode.  If you wish to browse only videos relating to Dance, simply select Video (any format) or Video (DVD) from the Format drop-down box.  Similarly, you can browse just dance-related Journals/Newspapers/Magazines by selecting that format.  A sample results page follows.

Sample results page for call number search GV1580

Subject browsing

Using the catalog you can also browse the library's dance collection online using subject headings.  Subject heading browses can only be done in basic search mode.  These searches must be exact in terms of wording, but don't need to include punctuation like dashes or commas.  For a sample browse, try a subject heading search for dance, using the arrows to examine several pages of terms.

Subject headings beginning with "dance"

Dance criticism   Dance technique   Dance costume
Dance philosophy   Dance companies   Dance music
Dance research   Dance production and direction   Dance critics
Dance notation   Dance reviews   Dance teachers
Dance therapy   Dance health and hygiene    

"Aspects" headings (Modern Dance uses this pattern as well)

Dance - social aspects; Dance - sociological aspects; Dance - psychological aspects; Dance - physiological aspects; Dance - anthropological aspects; Dance - political aspects; Dance - health aspects; Dance - religious aspects

"Dance for" and "Dance in" headings 

Dance for children   Dance in art
Dance for people with disabilities   Dance in literature
Dance for older people   Dance in motion pictures, television

Subjects plus "and dance" or "in dance" 

Art and dance   Improvisation in dance; Mechanization in dance
Feminism and dance   Gesture in dance; Nudity in dance
Homosexuality and dance   Homosexuality in dance; Sex in dance
Music and dance   Gender identity in dance

Headings related to people

The names of people are often listed as subject headings, last name first, e.g. Balanchine, George.  (If searching a name, also do a "Words anywhere" (keyword) search for the name using quotes, e.g. "george balanchine.")  The subject heading Dancers offers many works sub-classified as biography, correspondence, interviews, bibliography, fiction, and country of origin; Choreographers breaks down similarly. There's also a Ballet dancers heading, and gender-related headings Male dancers and Women dancers.  There is no "Modern dancers" heading in the TCU Library catalog.

Dance by country or ethnic group

For national dances, try using the pattern Dance - [country], e.g. Dance - Africa.  For dances of an ethic group, use heading pattern [Ethnic group] - dance, e.g. Hopi - Dance.

Dance-related headings that do not begin with "dance"

Choreography, Choreographers; Ballet; Modern dance; Theatrical dance; Movement aesthetics, Movement education, Movement notation, Movement philosophy, Movement therapy; Folk dancing

Dance topics with unexpected subject headings

Dance education - browse Movement education or Physical education or Dance - Study and teaching

Dance theory - browse Dance philosophy

Social dances, dancing - browse Ballroom dancing and/or type of dance, e.g. Tango

"Subject words" searches

When in doubt as to exact subject headings, a "subject words" search may be a good option.  Results will display as titles having these subject words in their descriptions, however, as opposed to categorical listings as in the dance example above.  There's more about subject searching in the "Subject searching" page in the Tips and Tricks section of this guide.