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Library Terminology

Dictionary of common library terms.


Table of Contents

A list of all the parts found within a resource (e.g., book chapters, journal articles, etc.). Usually lists the page number each part begins on.

Tertiary Source

A reference work that contains information provided by primary and secondary sources (e.g., dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, almanacs, etc.).


1. A alphabetical list of words as well as synonyms and antonyms related to each word. Thesauri can be general or subject specific.

2. A list of subject headings used in a specific database, library catalog, or index.


1. The main argument of a paper.

2. A formal written document on a particular topic prepared as a requirement for a university or college degree.

Trade Publication

A periodical intended for a particular trade or industry.


Using a special symbol called a "wildcard" (e.g., ?, *, or +) to search a library catalog or database in order to find variants of a word. For example: Searching "Histor*" will find "History", "Histories", "Historian", etc.

Click a letter, then click on a word.