Search/Browse Help - Searching in Chinese
About Searching in Chinese
Records in the LC Catalog use the Unicode standard for MARC 21 for search and display. This ISO standard is based on Unicode opens in a new window (UTF-8 encoding). Chinese records in the LC Catalog may contain a mix of CJK (Chinese-Japanese-Korean) characters and transliterated data or transliterated data only. Library of Congress transliteration follows the ALA-LC Romanization Tables.
There are two ways to search for records in Chinese:
- Using romanized terms (which may be faster and more efficient)
- Using Chinese characters. You may want to search first with Chinese characters if you are unsure of the proper romanization of a name or title.
Search results displayed in Titles Lists contain only Latin characters in the brief entries for each item. Titles Lists are ordered by relevancy or sorted by transliterated author/creator and title metadata. If records contain both transliterated data and Chinese characters, both will be displayed in the full record.
Tips for Searching in Chinese
- Chinese characters can be searched in names, titles, series, notes, and many subjects. All topical subject headings, however, use English-language terms.
- Wildcards may be especially helpful if you are unsure of the correct MARC 21 Unicode values. Use a percent sign (%) as a single character wildcard and a question mark (?) for truncation or to substitute for multiple characters.
- Most marks of punctuation in your search query are converted to spaces. Some punctuation and diacritic marks are removed: apostrophes, alifs, ayns, middle dots, primes and double primes. A few special characters, however, are retained in searches: ampersands (&), plus signs (+), at signs (@), number signs (#), and musical flat (♭) and natural (♮) signs (musical sharps are converted to spaces). Special characters are generally converted to their nearest alphabetic equivalent (for example: an æ diagraph to ae or a þ thorn to th).
- Chinese characters in LC Catalog records must use the ideographs found in the Unicode standard for MARC 21. If your search returns fewer results than you expect, please consult the CJK Compatibility Database to help you identify the appropriate MARC 21 Unicode equivalents for non-MARC 21 CJK Unicode characters. If no MARC 21 equivalent exists for the character you need, use a single or multiple-character wildcard or the "missing character" symbol ( 〓 ) in your query.
- In Headings Browse Lists, non-Latin headings with Chinese characters are sorted by Unicode code point values opens in a new window.
Searching Chinese in Transliteration
- Most Chinese records cataloged by the Library of Congress use pinyin romanization. Some older records, however, still reflect the Wade-Giles system (which was officially replaced by pinyin romanization in October 2000). For more details, see the Chinese ALA Romanization Tables at: https://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/romanization/chinese.pdf.
- When searching in romanized pinyin script, pay special attention to the word division rules. Personal and geographical names are aggregated together. For example:
- 杨伯达 is transliterated as Yang, Boda
- 欧阳修 is transliterated as Ouyang, Xiu
- 中国 is transliterated as Zhongguo
- 中华人民共和国厦门海关 is transliterated as Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo Xiamen hai guan
- 河北省 is transliterated as Hebei Sheng
- Title words should be separated. For example:
- 中国统计年鉴 is transliterated as Zhongguo tong ji nian jian
Searching Chinese Characters
- To enter Chinese characters, make sure you have a Chinese input method editor (IME) loaded on your device.
- When you are unsure of exact names or titles titles, search unique words in Chinese characters. For example:
- 城镇化，军舰，西部大开发, etc.
- In case of personal names with the same pronunciation, search the name in Chinese characters. For example, search the characters:
- 王毅 instead of Wang, Yi
CJK Compatibility Database
When searching for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ideographs, you must use characters found in the MARC 21 Unicode standard. Searching non-MARC 21 Unicode characters in the LC Catalog will not return results.
To help you quickly determine MARC 21 equivalents for non-MARC CJK characters, the Library maintains a CJK Compatibility Database of more than 450 non-MARC 21 CJK characters matched with their MARC 21 equivalents. You can search this database by character or browse all entries.