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Vatican II: A Research Guide: Find Books

Finding Books: Vatican II

Subject Searching in the Classic Catalog

To do the sort of subject searching that will be demonstrated here, you must first get to the Classic Catalog. You can do so by clicking the blue button in the box on the right side of the screen.

The Gumberg Library has a wealth of books on Vatican II. While the default keyword search can be useful for some searches, to get quickly at all books on a particular subject, a Subject search in the Classic Catalog is best.

The Classic Catalog allows us to do a very structured Subject search using Library of Congress Subject Headings. These are often not intuitive. For example, the subject heading to use to find everything on Vatican II is:

Vatican Council (2nd: 1962-1965: Basilica Di San Pietro In Vaticano)

To do a subject search for all books on the subject of Vatican II, you would first type the appropriate subject heading in the search box (You can leave out all the punctuation marks.) Then you would pull down the menu to the left of the search box and choose "Subject." Finally, you would click Search to run your search.

In your result list, you would see:

At the far right side of any line you will see the number of books under that heading. To see the books under a heading, just click on it.


Corporate Author Searching in the Classic Catalog

Most users seem to think that an author has to be a person or small team of people. But sometimes an author can be an organization or large gathering  (like a conference). This kind of author is called a "corporate author." Vatican II is actually considered the "author" of a large number of documents. To find all the documents for which Vatican II is considered the author (or, rather, all the documents in the online catalog that came out of the Council), you can do an Author search, using the heading below:

Vatican Council (1962-1965: Basilica Di San Pietro In Vaticano)

On the search screen, type in the appropriate heading as you see it given above.(Notice that in this Author heading, the "2nd" is not included as it was for the Subject search.) Then open the menu to the left of the Search box and choose "Author." Finally, click Search to run your search for all items in the Classic Catalog for which the Second Vatican Council is credited as the Author.

St Peter's Basilica

Classic Catalog

Use the classic version of the online catalog to find out which books, CDs, DVDs, musical scores, and other kinds of information sources are owned by or are accessible through, the Gumberg Library.


Click the button above to visit the Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA) website, home of the Catholic Portal, a catalog of rare, unique, and uncommon Catholic scholarly materials in the library collections of the over 40 member institutions of the CRRA. An ever-growing number of the items listed may contain links to the full-text!

CRRA has a growing collection of subject guides to assist users of their website in doing research. Click the link below to see these subject guides.

CRRA Subject Guides