Skip to main content

HIS 301: American History Before 1865: Books + more

Guide to paper and electronic resources for students in Dr. Calvert's section concentrating on American history before 1865. Spring 2013. Calvert.

Keyword versus Subject Searching

You can search InfoKat Discovery with any key terms you think would best describe what you are trying to find out about the topic you have chosen or been assigned. Once you have appropriate search results, you can examine the subjects assigned by catalogers from a controlled vocabulary (Library of Congress Subject Headings or LCSH, primarily) and use those terms to do a more precise and targeted search in InfoKat Discovery. However, keep in mind that terminology changes, so to get the most comprehensive results with either keywords or subjects, you might have to search several terms. For instance, if you are researching African-Americans' contributions to the body of American music, you might need to search all of following terms:

(Colored OR Negro OR Black OR Black American OR Afro-American OR African-American) AND music

If you are doing historical research, an awareness of terminology and how it changes is essential to formulating a search that returns complete and comprehensive search results whether you are using InfoKat Discovery, one of our subscription databases described on a following page, or Google.

LC Call Numbers Explained

Call Number Explained