Using the Library’s Catalogs

CATNYP is the online catalog of The New York Public Library’s research collections.  It is easily accessible via the Internet at  For general instructions on using CATNYP, please consult Using the Library's Online Catalog. The following information is specific to the subject of sociology.

CATNYP allows searching by author, title, keyword, and subject. A keyword search is recommended, and the catalog defaults to this option.

The most salient keywords for sociology include the following:

Social Conflict
Social History
Social Problems
Social Sciences
Social Scientists

Works by and about prominent sociologists can be found by searching their names in the author and/or subject fields, entering the last name first:

Durkheim,  Emile
Weber,  Max
Parsons, Talcott

When performing a multiple word search, be sure to use the word "and" between each term:

sociology and crime
sociology and race
anthropology and religion   
sociology and religion
sociology and Durkheim and school

After retrieving the results of a keyword search, the researcher is advised to examine the subject headings listed in the entry. Clicking on the appropriate subject heading will bring up titles specifically linked to that topic.

Although keyword searching is recommended, some researchers may also wish to employ a subject search. A subject search might yield more precise results, but only if the appropriate Library of Congress subject headings are utilized. A list of these subject headings is available at

When visiting the Library, the researcher may wish to consult the Dictionary Catalog, most of whose entries now appear in CATNYP. Please consult a librarian about the appropriate subject and author headings to employ.