What is the difference between the subjects Ironwork, Ironworks, and Iron-works?
Ironworks as a subject only applies to juvenile works. It is not used in the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Library of Congress Subject Headings uses Iron-works and Ironwork, with the following distinctions.
Iron-works as a subject is used for works about Iron industries.

  • Examples from cataloged records:
  • Title: Technology, energy efficiency, and environmental externalities in the iron and steel industry
  • Subjects:
    • Steel-works — Energy conservation — Southeast Asia.
    • Iron-works — Energy conservation –Southeast Asia.
    • Steel-works –Environmental aspects –Southeast Asia.
    • Iron-works –Environmental aspects –Southeast Asia.


  • Title: American iron, 1607-1900 (OCLC 33333822)
  • Subjects:
    • Iron-works –North America –History –18th century.

Ironwork as a subject is used for works about iron related products, iron art works, etc. According to LCSH there are four aspects to ironwork, and therefore four different places where these books can be classified: Ornamental ironwork, Engineering construction, Metal manufactures, and Mechanic trades.

  • Examples from cataloged records:
  • Title: Ornamental design and guide book (OCLC 62593901)
  • Subjects:
    • Ironwork.
    • Wrought-iron.
    • Decorative cast-ironwork.
    • Architectural ironwork.
  • Title: English ironwork of the XVIIth & XVIIIth centuries : an historical & analytical account of the development of exterior smithcraft (OCLC 44812084)
  • Subjects:
    • Ironwork –England — History — 18th century.
    • Decoration and ornament –England — History — 18th century.

Please note that there are also many other subject headings related to metalwork. These include: Metal-work, Copperwork, Goldwork, Inca metal-work, Navajo silverwork, and many, many others.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.