HIST 413: Big Ideas: Searching For Books

Searching and Browsing

Start in the library catalog

  • Do a few keyword searches in the library catalog
  • Once you find a relevant book, click on the Details link and look at the Subjects to find similar items
  • When you click on a subject, it will run a new search on that topic

Browse the shelves
Books are organized on the shelves according to topic, so once you find a promising source, you can:

  • use the Virtual Browse link in the library catalog to see other possibly relevant books around it
  • or go to the shelves to browse physically

Search Williams WorldCat

Find items at other libraries

Advanced Search



The best keywords are 2-4 words long. 

The more specific you are, and closer you are to writing about an object the more luck you will have. 

For object/place/event based keywords try:
 Object + Concept +Concept. 
Suez Canal + History + Egyptian Policy
Decolonization +Environmental Aspects + [Place]