Welcome -- This guide is unfinished

How the Guide Works

The purpose of this guide is to help you think of all the possible sources for a material object of interest and to list the resources available for finding them.

We may think of any human made object as having a life cycle, from invention to disposal.  Each step generates sources or records which may be accessed via a variety of resources.  For example:

  • Inventions – Patents
  • Manufacturing – Trade periodicals, Corporate annual reports
  • Trade (wholesale, retail) – trade catalogs, trade periodicals, Corporate annual reports, user manuals, advertising
  • Use - User manuals, Personal writings (diaries, letters, etc.), Magazines, Newspapers
  • Collecting/Museums – Identification catalogs, Sale catalogs, Value lists, Museum  promotional/educational  literature, Museum annual reports
  • Disposal/recycling – Engineering literature, Recycling promotional literature

Natural objects (rocks/minerals, plants, animals, soil) also have associated sources:

  • Scientific and popular literature, Identification manuals, Catalogs of collections

Some source types may apply to any of the above categories. These include bibliographies, organizational directories, classifications.

Each of the myriad kinds of things cannot be individually treated here. The strategy adopted is to divide the guide into three parts:

1. Kinds of documents and resources relating to things.

2. A selection of classes of particular things and their specialized reources.

The Subject terms and and resources given here are intended as examples that may be applied to other kinds of things

HOLLIS and WorldCat Subject Terms

The Library of Congress has evolved an elaborate but essential vocabulary of subject terms (SUBJECT field in HOLLIS/WorldCat records).  Each stage of the life cycle and each kind of object has its own terms, as do the kinds of sources.  Once you have mastered the Subject terms for your topic, you can systematically and exhaustively (relatively speaking) search for sources.

The system is hierarchical. There will similar arrays for Footwear (broader) and for Boots, Clogs, Pumps (Shoes), and Sandals (narrower).

  • Shoe industry
  • Shoe industry -- Canada -- Directories
  • Shoe industry -- Law and legislation -- France
  • Shoe industry -- New England -- Periodicals
  • Shoe industry -- United States -- Statistics
  • Shoe machinery
  • Shoe machinery industry
  • Shoe stores -- Equipment and supplies – Catalogs
  • Shoelaces -- Mathematics
  • Shoes -- Bibliography
  • Shoes -- Care -- Equipment and supplies -- Miscellanea
  • Shoes -- Catalogs.             
  • Shoes, Ceramic -   See: Ceramic shoes
  • Shoes -- China -- Dictionaries
  • Shoes -- China -- Exhibitions
  • Shoes -- Cleaning -- Equipment and supplies -- Catalogs
  • Shoes -- Collectors and collecting
  • Shoes -- Design -- Pictorial works
  • Shoes -- Drama
  • Shoes -- Fitting -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.            
  • Shoes -- Fitting -- Juvenile fiction
  • Shoes in art -- Catalogs
  • Shoes -- Labeling -- Law and legislation -- United States
  • Shoes -- Private collections -- England -- Herefordshire
  • Shoes -- Religious aspects
  • Shoes -- Psychological aspects
  • Shoes -- Trade and manufacture -- Finland

Subdivisions found attached to one term may usually be applied to another:

Hats -- Religious aspects

Lists of Subject terms and Free-floating Subdivisions are available at Library of Congress Subject Headings PDF Files

For instructions for searching HOLLIS and WorldCat see the Library Research Guide for History