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Michigan State University

Medieval English Peasant: MSU Libraries' Online Catalog

This is a guide to researching the medieval English peasant. Medieval West -- Reference Sources and Medieval West -- Additional Web Resources are more extensive research guides. Latest update 06-12-2023

MSU Libraries' Online Catalog

It is possible to do a quick and dirty, one box keyword search of the contents of the MSU Libraries' web site, starting at the left side of the Libraries' home page.  The results will be sorted into several categories to follow up on:  articles from journals, books/media from our online catalog, databases, library research guides like this one, other.  To do a more traditional search, read on. 

Below the general search box, click on Books and Media to search for physical, paper/cloth bound books, paper/cloth bound journals, physical media such as DVDs, microforms, or individually cataloged electronic items.  

In Books and Media, click on the down arrow on the right side of the form where it says "Catalog." Choose the type of search you want to do.  In the box to the right put in your search terms.  Enter author's name either last name, first name or first name last name.  Omit initial articles in book titles; include them as they occur within the book title itself.  To search by L.C. subject heading, it may be better to use the Browse Alphabetically Browse by Subject lower down in the list than Catalog: Subject, because those results will show the surrounding subject headings and number of hits retrieved.   After you receive your results, notice that you can filter them by using the facets along the left side of the screen.

Advanced search in Books and Media allows for combination of more than one search aspect, such as author and title, or subject heading and keyword, or several lines of keywords. Here you can also confine your results to particular parts of our Collections, using the Location area on lower right side of screen.

Below the general search box, click on E Books and Journals to search for journals in electronic form or individual electronic books that will have been received by the Library in a package.  You may need to check both Books and Media and E Books and Journals to find your electronic book.

L.C. subject headings are standardized words and phrases assigned by catalogers when cataloging library books.  They are published in the Library of Congress' List of Subject Headings, a large set of red books, located in the Reference collection, call number Z 696....  Persons, organizations, companies, places, and events may all be L.C. subjects even though their names are not in the L.C. List....

After finding a good book by title or keyword, notice the subject headings within the catalog record.  Click on one or more of these to be taken to other books with the same subject heading, if we have any.

Examples:  Peasants, England.  Court records, EnglandGreat Britain--civilization--medieval period, 1066-1485.  England--social life and customs, 1066-1485.  [place name]--history--sources. Plague.  Black death. Tyler's insurrection, 1381. Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. Drapers Company.

Call number search.  In Books and Media, browse the shelves from the convenience of home or office!  Having identified a particularly useful call number area from other searches, do a call number search (using Catalog: Call Number or Catalog: Browse by Call Number) in order to see other possibly relevant books that sit nearby on the shelf, whether they are in the Main Library, Remote Storage, or a branch library.  Do not space between the letters and whole number.  E Books and Journals cannot be searched/browsed by call number.  

Example:  DA245