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History - General

This guide is intended to help you get started with finding relevant information related to your history class or topics of interest.

Searching WorldCat for Books

To find books and ebooks search the library's online catalog WorldCat

First, try a simple keyword search such as Civil War. Keyword searches produce a large amount of results. This type of search is broad and less precise. Fortunately, most online catalogs and databases have features to help you refine your search terms. Refinement features may include author, year, format, content, audience, or sub-topics.

Creating a search strategy:

Next, try Boolean searching. This type of searching allows you to combine keywords using operators AND, OR, and NOT. 

To narrow your results use AND with two or more concepts. Example: Civil War AND Reconstruction . With this search both terms will be included in the results.

To broaden your search use OR with synonymous or related words.Example: Union OR Confederate. One or both terms will be included in the results.

Sometimes one of your search terms may produce a list of results that includes articles that are not relevant to your topic. Using the operator NOT eliminates words from your search and reduces the number of results. Example: Lincoln NOT Jefferson . The word Jefferson will be excluded from the search.