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Primary Sources: Catalog Search

Search Term Suggestions

Combine these terms with the event or person you are researching (ex. Civil War diaries). Also search by subject for specific people or events, then scan the titles for these keywords such as memoirs, autobiography, or personal narratives.

  • Archives
  • Autobiography
  • Charters
  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Interviews
  • Manuscripts
  • Memoirs
  • Oratory 
  • Speeches
     

     

 

 

 

General Search Strategies

Searching in the OPAL catalog for your topic:  

SUBJECT AND KEYWORD searches are not the same. The catalog uses controlled vocabularies for subjects. Keywords are natural language. If you find an appropriate book using a keyword find similar books by searching the same subject headings.

A CONTROLLED VOCABULARY like Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) helps ensure the same topics are described using a formalized terminology. The terms are based on broad and narrow topics. Other controlled vocabularies include: Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), or LC subject headings for children's literature.

SEARCH TIPS  on the catalog page explain combining words for the most efficient way to find what you need. Or, look at the help link to decide how to search.

MARKING RECORDS enables you to save to a list then print or email a selected group of items.

A BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD  in the online catalog will give important information including the title, author, publisher, publication date, subject headings and the Dewey decimal call number. 

THE DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM is a classification scheme used to organize books. Other libraries may use the Library of Congress Classification System. 

Strategies

FIND A BOOK  in Duns Scotus Library by searching in the online catalog and noting the Dewey decimal call number. 

LIMIT TO THOSE NOT CHECKED OUT will display only books in the library, not ebooks. Check this box to narrow the search results to find items on the shelves.

BROWSE the stacks (book shelves) to serendipitously find other books.