For access to materials in Randall Library: includes sophisticated search capabilities like limiting by language and format or combining subject headings. Also allows users to send search results to their email addresses.
WorldCat : From the Library Home Page, choose the "Database& Article Searching" link, then choose the "WorldCat" link.
WorldCat is the union catalog of books, web resources, and other material located worldwide cataloged by OCLC member libraries (approximately 26,000 libraries.) Books in the catalog are generally available via Interlibrary Loan, and many of the websites are freely available. .
Case does not matter. Punctuation marks are not needed.
Keyword searches will likely etrieve something on your subject. This type of search looks in practically all parts of the catalog record, and is the only way to access the data in the Contents Notes field of records. However, if you are not using the terms catalogers use to identify a subject, keyword searches may actually retrieve fewer items than a subject search.
Subject searches use a controlled vocabulary, bring more consistency to searches, organizing records by subtopics. Library of Congress Subject Headings are used in both the local catalog and in WorldCat.The main subject heading for World War I is: World War, 1914-1918
Primary Source Subheadings: There are several subject subheadings used to identify books or other resources that are compilations of primary source material. Look for:
songs and music
speeches, addresses, etc.*
*These subheadings are typically used under Subject Headings for individuals, e.g., Wilson, Woodrow or terms describing groups of people, e.g., Soldiers.
How to Identify Primary Sources in the Online Catalog:
Step 1: Subject search for World War, 1914-1918
Step 2: At the top of the results page click on Limit/Sort
Step 3: Click on arrow next to Words in the Author and change it to Words in the Subject
Step 4: Type in (choose one): Sources
Songs and music
Step 5: Click on Limit/Sort items retrieved using above data, button
Search country names as subjects. Under country names with the subheading History, you will often find further chronological subheadings, e.g. France--History--1914-1940 (Keep in mind that Russia became the Soviet Union in 1917. Use both country names.) Many of the collections of foreign or diplomatic relations documents cover a longer period that just the war, so search for these volumes by country name with the subheading "Foreign relations." For example:
Soviet Union--Foreign relations
Great Britain--Foreign relations
Identify key participants and publications associated with your topic:
When looking at reference sources, pick out names of people, organizations, and governmental agencies that were participants, and any publications such as reports, newsletters, magazines, pamphlets, etc. that they produced in conjunction with the events or developments you are researching.
More on Subject Searching:
Catalogers use the most precise subject heading to describe a publication. For instance, a book on France during WWI may have the heading
World War, 1914-1918 -- France, but will not appear in the more general items with the subject heading World War 1914-1918 only.
Searching both broad and narrow headings and looking for related headings will yield better results.
Just because an item's subject heading does not include "History" as a subdivision does not mean it has no history in it. In particular, look at the publication date. It may be a source contemporary to the period, i. e., a primary source.
Even if you are doing a keyword search, using phrases from the subject headings typically improves the relevance of your results. For example, a keyword search World War 1914 is preferable to World War I
After finding some sources through searching the online catalog, be sure to browse the shelves near these times. The call numbers are devised to place materials on the same subject together on the shelf. In the catalog, the call number is presented as a link, so you can even browse the shelves when searching the catalog.
You may also wish to browse the Reference Collection to see what special sources are available. A basic outline of the Library of Congress Classification scheme is at http://www.loc.gov/catdir.cosi.lcco.html
Author searches for the key participants (individuals, organizations, agencies or other groups) will retrieve records for materials that were written or produced by them either at the time of the event or later will, in most cases, be primary sources.