History 154

History of American Feminisms
Professor: Annie Valk
Spring 2018

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Lori DuBois
History Librarian
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Search Strategies

The following strategies can be used in Williams library catalog and other library catalogs, such Williams WorldCat and HathiTrust Digital Library.   

Search by Author

Memoirs, speeches, writings, or correspondence of a person can be found by doing a Browse Search by author using the name (last name first) of the person.

Materials published by an organization can also be found by searching for the organization as an author.

Search by Subject

Usually, library catalog records have at least one Subject describing the general topic of the book, video, or other material. Subjects can be subdivided to indicate further topical breakdown, geographical location, time period, or the form of the composition. Some of the form subdivisions that indicate the items is a primary source include:

Correspondence, Diaries, Interviews (useful when you don't have the name of a specific person)

Sources (collections of primary sources)

Search by Keywords

Use the Advanced Search to combine one of the subdivisions above as a Subject with keywords or subjects for a topic.


  • Subject:diaries AND feminis*

Note: the * finds any ending; feminist, feminists, feminism, etc.

Limit by Date

Remember, primary sources were written around the same time as an event or during a particular historical time period. To find contemporary writings, you can do searches in the library catalog by subject and limit to the years in question. A word of caution: this search strategy will not find materials that were reprinted at a later date.