It is possible to do a quick and dirty, one box keyword search 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 copies of journals, physical media, such as DVDs or 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 in various ways, by using the facets along the left side of the page.
Advanced Search allows for combination of more than one search aspect, such as author and title or several lines of keywords. You can also confine your results to particular parts of our Collections, using the Location area on lower right.
Below the general search box on the Home Page, 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.
Authors may be individuals, organizations, or corporate entities. Examples: Elliott, J.H. Ignatius of Loyola, Saint, 1491-1556. Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de, 1547-1616. Hakluyt Society.
Call numbers can be searched if you have a general or specific call number. In this way one can browse the shelves of the Main Library from the comfort of home. Use Books and Media, call number. Example: BX1735 (Inquisition in Spain). DP536 (history of Portugal). G159-336 history of discoveries, explorations, and travel.
Subject headings are standardized words and phrases assigned by catalogers when cataloging library materials. They are published in the Library of Congress' List of Subject Headings, a large set of red books, located in Reference 1 East, call number Z 696.... Remember, persons, organizations, companies, places, and events may all be L.C. subjects even though their names are not in the L.C. List... In Books and Media use Browse Alphabetically Browse by Subject. Subject heading searching usually results in better quality subject retrieval than keyword searching. Examples: Ignatius of Loyola, Saint, 1491-1556 (for books about him). Brazil. Jesuits—missions. Catholic Church—history—16th century. Inquisition. Inquisition--[place]. Moriscos. Mudejares. Conquerors. Missionaries. Spain--history.
Notice and use standardized sub-headings to find particular types of material, such as bibliographies, periodicals, dictionaries, biography, etc. For example: Spain--history--bibliography.
If you find a good book by doing a keyword/any field search, notice the subject headings in its cataloging record. Sometimes, clicking on those headings will take you to more books on that subject.
Some possibly useful subject headings are below.
America—discovery and exploration
Bourbon, House of
Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de, 1547-1616
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, 1500-1558
Conquerors—[place name] for examples: Latin America. Mexico. Portugal. Spain.
Demarcation line of Alexander VI
Don Quixote Cervantes Saavedra Miguel de, 1547-1616
Ferdinand V, King of Spain, 1452-1616
Ignatius of Loyola, Saint, 1491-1556
Indians of Central America
Isabella I, Queen of Spain, 1451-1504
Latin America—discovery and exploration
Latin America—discovery and exploration--Spanish
Latin America—economic conditions
Latin America—history—[chronological period]
Philip II, 1556-1598
Pizarro, Francisco, ca 1475-1541
Portugal--history--sources (for locating primary source material)
Spain—history—Ferdinand and Isabella, 1479-1516
Spain—history—House of Austria, 1500-1700
Spain--history--sources (for locating primary source material)
Spain—social life and customs
Teresa, of Avila, Saint, 1515-1582
Thirty Years’ War, 1618-1648
Velazquez, Diego, 1599-1660