In the most basic sense, subject headings are used to help the researcher more easily find materials on the same subject matter. Library of Congress Subject Headings are assigned to all, or almost all, books published after 1989 (think of this as library "tagging" but using the same terms so that everyone knows which terminology to use). For example, if I wanted to see what books my library might have on the Stonewall Uprising in New York, I might search for the following subject heading:
- Stonewall Riots, New York, N.Y., 1969
That subject heading would show me a list of items in Sterne Library written specifically about the Stonewall uprising. These include books and interviews in our collections.