Skip to Main Content

HI 209: Making Caribbean History

Finding Books

In the library catalog, you can search for books in multiple ways, including using a keyword, an author, a subject, and a title. All of these will produce different results in a library’s catalog.

A keyword search will give you results from any material in the catalog that mentions the word or phrase you are searching. So if you search medieval history, you may get results with that phrase in the title, series, table of contents, summary, etc. This means it searches very broadly and you get lots of results (that may or may not be relevant)

  • Subject headings are the specific way that libraries like to organize works on the same subject. It is narrower than a keyword search, but more specific and consistent. Here are some examples you can try searching:
    • Caribbean
    • West Indies
    • Jamaica 
    • Puerto Rico
    • Haiti -- Social life and customs
    • Slave trade -- Caribbean Area -- History
    • Sugar trade
    • Plantation life
    • Sugar workers
    • Caribbean Area -- History
    • Creoles -- Caribbean Area.
    • Caribbean literature
    • Slavery -- Caribbean Area

  • Keep your search terms very general
  • Do your search different ways for different results
  • Explore the additional subject terms within each listing

If you have found a book you want to use, you might also want to look at its call number. Books on the same subject will have a similar number so that they can be put on the shelf next to each other.

Finding ebooks in the catalog

Let's say that you want to look for ebooks in our catalog. After performing a search, click on the Modify Search button, shown below:Then under Material Type select Ebooks and click Search.