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EH 477: Studies in Genre: Finding Books


To find books and government documents in USA Libraries' collections, use SOUTHcat: USA Libraries' Catalog.

  • Catalog tips and tricks:
    • Keyword searches – use quotation marks to hold phrases together ("greek mythology")
    • Truncation – use ? after the root of a word to find all its variants (god?, finds both gods and goddesses)
    • Browse the Subject(s) field in records to find the right words for searches. (Example: Try doing a keyword search for "greek mythology" poems then look at the subject(s) field in several records. You’ll see that the subject term could be Mythology, Greek -- Poetry. Click the subject heading to find more records with this subject.)
  • Revise and refine your searches. Combine words or phrases.
  • Watch for repeating call numbers and browse stacks in that area.
  • Pay attention to the Location and Status fields. You will need this information to locate the item in the library.

Subscription E-Books

The USA Libraries subscribe to several subscription e-book collections. These collections tend to focus on a specific discipline or field of study in their coverage.

Suggested Search Terms

  • Below are some suggested search terms to use when searching the SOUTHcat catalog or library databases. Search techniques may vary with each database, so look at help screens or ask a librarian for suggestions about using quotation marks and truncation symbols.

Leave out the word "and" when doing a keyword search on SOUTHcat, since this is automatically added if the phrase is not in quotes. Put phrases in quotation marks to search as a phrase. Use ? as a truncation or wildcard symbol in the catalog. Use Advanced Boolean Search for combinations of concepts and phrases.


  • folklore "southern states"
  • folklore methodology
  • "oral history" methodology
  • "oral history" research
  • "oral history" "southern states"
  • ethnograph?
  • anthropology fiedwork

Library of Congress Subject Headings:

  • Folklore --Southern States.
  • Vernacular architecture --Southern States.
  • Southern States --Social life and customs.
  • Folklore and history --Southern States.
  • Folklore --Fieldwork.
  • Folklore --Methodology.
  • Oral tradition --Southern States.
  • Oral history --Methodology.
  • Oral history --Handbooks, manuals, etc.
  • Folklore --Performance.
  • Oral tradition --Research.
  • Ethnology --Philosophy.
  • Anthropology--Fieldwork.



Things to Remember about ILL

Please keep these things in mind when considering using ILL:

  • ILL should be used carefully
  • Check SOUTHcat to make sure we do not have the book either available in print or electronically
    • When searching for a book, do a title or author search--DO NOT use the ISBN only. We may own a different edition or version of the book (ex. hardback vs. paperback)
    • If the material is in our holdings, the ILL staff will cancel your request
  • Check Our Journal List to make sure we do not have the journal available in print or electronically
    • If the material is in our holdings, the ILL staff will cancel your request
  • When you use ILL, check WorldCat for libraries that have your material
    • Check again to be sure USA Libraries does not own your selected material
      • In WorldCat, look for the green highlighted "University of South Alabama," indicating we own that item
    • Remember, libraries in-state are often faster at delivering materials than those libraries at great distances
    • Rare books and archival material will not be sent through ILL
  • Use the "Click here for ILL" link in WorldCat to import the bibliographic material into the ILL system

For more detailed information on ILL, see InterLibrary Loan Policies and Procedures

Step-by-Step Guide to ILLiad