Political Science: Find Books

What is a subject heading?

Subject headings are a formalized way of of searching library catalogs. The right subect heading can help you get to information more quickly.

For example, US Presidents can be described using the following terms:

  • US Presidents
  • Presidents of the United States
  • American Presidents

You could search the library catalog for all those keywords. Or, use one subject heading to find all of the library's materials about US Presidents:

Presidents--United States.

Who determines subject headings? The Library of Congress. Copies of the complete set of the Library of Congress Subject Headings are available at the Reference Desk.

Browse for Books

Sometimes browsing the library stacks can help you find books you didn't even know you were looking for. The following are good areas to peruse. 

HX: Socialism, communism, utopias, anarchism

J: General Legislative and Executive Papers

JA: Political Science, collections and general works

JC: Political theory, theory of state

JF: Consitutional history and administration

JK: United States

JK 2403-9501: United States, state government

JK 9661-9993: Confederate States of America

JL: British American, Latin America

JN: Europe

JQ: Asia, Africa, Australia, Oceania

JS: Local government

JV: Colonies and colonization, emigration and immigration

JX: International law, international relations

JZ: International relations

Maps of the library are available at the 2nd floor Reference Desk, elevator lobbies, and also online.

PSU Library Catalog - Book Search


Results include both print books and ebooks, available from Portland State Library and other libraries.

Find Books by Subject

After you execute a search in the Portland State Library catalog, click on the "books" facet to limit your search results to only books. Click on "eBooks" to limit your results to eBooks. screen shot of book and ebook facet

After you find a useful book, scroll down to the "Details" heading to find the book's "Subjects." Here you'll find a list of related subjects that you might consider adding to your search. You can also click on a subject link in the record, e.g. clicking on "Community health services" would bring up a list of all the Library's books, journals, etc. on that topic.Screenshot of subjects

Subjects in Political Science
Arbitration (International Law) Citizenship Comparative Government
Emigration and Immigration International Agencies International Courts
International Law International Relations Local Government
Municipal Government Peace Peace Movements
Political Parties Political Rights Presidents--United States
Representative Government and Representation Separation of Powers Treaties
United Nations United States. Congress. House United States. Congress. Senate
United States--Foreign Relations United States. Supreme Court

eBook Collections

We collect eBooks whenever possible. Records for eBooks look like this:

screenshot of ebookWe also have a number of eBook collections that you can browse. They are listed below.