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HIST 469 Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Europe

Using Search It

To learn more about your options regarding obtaining books while the library is closed during COVID, please see the box on the bottom of the home page of this guide. We have locker pickup (on campus) and mail to home options available; in addition, a number of our books are available electronically.

Use BOOLEAN operators to refine your searches.

  • AND will search for BOTH of the words together (witchcraft AND Europe will bring back resources that have both of those words)
  • OR will search for EITHER of the words (this is good for when you have synonyms, or want to search for multiple places or people at once. Example: infanticide AND (Germany OR Italy)

Further Tips:

  • Use quotation marks around phrases to search for words that you would expect to appear together. (e.g. "petty treason")
  • Use an asterisk * to truncate a word and allow for variant endings or spellings: (midwi* for midwives, midwifery, midwife). 
  • Use specific names, events, or time periods to avoid being overwhelmed; this is especially important when searching for primary sources.
  • Use the FACETS on the left side of the screen to refine your search by resource type, date, subject area, and more. You can also refine so that it shows you only sources online at WSU.
  • When you locate relevant items in your search results, open the full record to look at the subject headings listed under the "Details" section in the Search It record. You can click on relevant subject headings to see other titles with the same heading, or reuse them in a new search that incorporates additional keywords.
  • Use reference lists/bibliographies in relevant works to locate other research materials. 
  • As we cannot currently browse the physical shelves in the library, Search It has a 'Browse Library Shelves' feature within each item record (scroll to the bottom), visually displaying the books located next to your book on the shelves.
  • Use reference lists/bibliographies to locate other research materials (chaining):  locate a book that has potential for your topic or interests.  Scan the reference list to look at the sources used for the author's research; do title keyword searches in the library catalog to locate the article, dissertation, or book. 
  • Search primary sources by adding the following to your keyword search in Search It: sources, correspondence, letters, personal narratives, diaries, church records, wills, documents etc. For example: vagabonding AND (transcripts OR proceedings).

Subject Headings:

Once you find one or two great books for using your keywords, begin to look at the subject headings that were applied to that book. These can be found by clicking on the book's title in Search It and scrolling down the full record. NOTE: Not every book will have subject headings, and some may be more extensive than others (so, do not rely on subject headings, but use it in combination with keywords). Clicking on that subject heading will bring you to a list of all of the results that also have that subject heading applied. For example:

You can also add keywords to your subject headings, in advanced search. So, if you search Witchcraft--Europe--History as a subject heading, you could add Trials, Germany, Medicine as your keywords - whatever keywords fit your more specific topic.

Ordering Books from WorldCat and Summit

If WSU Libraries does not have a book in its collection, you can order this for free through Summit or Interlibrary Loan. Below are some links to instructions on how to do this. If you have a question or need help locating a text, please ask me!

Hathitrust Emergency Temporary Access

If you see the following statement underneath a book in the catalog rather than "Holland/Terrell Stacks," this means that the book is available electronically via our HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access system. This program is in effect while the library is closed and provides immediate electronic access to a number of books in our catalog. For information on how to "check out" this type of electronic book, click on the link below.

Record of book in Search It catalog titled Sodomy in early modern Europe. HathiTrust availability statement is boxed in red.

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