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HISTORY 300: Imperialism and Colonialism

Finding books in the WSU Libraries

Tips for finding books in Search It, the WSU Libraries' catalog.

  • Use quotation marks around phrases to search for words that you would expect to appear together, such as: "settler colonialism" or "European imperialism"
  • Use an asterisk * to truncate a word and allow for variant endings or spellings: (religi* for religion, religions, religious). 
  • Use specific names, events, or time periods to avoid being overwhelmed by extraneous results.
  • 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. 
  • Browse the physical stacks:  Find a book of interest and go to the library stacks to locate it.  Because classification systems (either Library of Congress or Dewey) assign call numbers by the subject of the book, you'll find other items in the same general area.  
  • Search It also has a 'Browse Library Shelves' feature within each item record, visually displaying the books located next to your book on the shelves.
  • Search primary sources by adding the following to your keyword search:  sources, correspondence, letters, personal narratives, diaries, church records, wills, documents etc. For example:  colonial AND documents, finds the following source: Border Comanches; seven Spanish colonial documents, 1785-1819.
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