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HISTORY 333: History of the Caribbean

Keyword Searching

Keyword searching allows you to type words and phrases that are then searched in the RECORD of the book or article; not in the source itself. So, this may limit you, particularly when searching for very obscure names or places that might not be in the summary or description. You might also try different variations of the same word, as scholars from different eras and departments may have used different words or names themselves may have changed (e.g. Saint Domingue vs. Haiti).

  • Using AND will bring back sources with BOTH of these words (Jamaica AND gender).
  • Using OR will bring you EITHER of these words (Saint-Domingue OR Haiti) will bring you results with either of those, not both at the same time).
  • Using quotations keeps things together as a phrase ("west indies") when using two different words.

It is good to start broad and see what other keywords jump out at you to aid in your search, and keep a list. Only use the MOST IMPORTANT words.

Subject Headings

Subject headings are words that librarians apply to books in order to organize them by topic. They are like the hashtags of the library. When you are in social media and someone tags something #caribbeanhistory, you can click on that and everything tagged with #caribbeanhistory will likely have something to do with Caribbean History.

The best way to find a subject heading is to find a book that fits your topic, and then scroll to the bottom of the Details page. Here, you can click on any of the subject headings to get a list of results.

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