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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 ("death penalty")
- Truncation – use ? after the root of a word to find all its variants (president? finds president, presidents, presidential...)
- Browse the Subject(s) field in records to find the right words for searches. (Example: Try doing a keyword search for "death penalty," then look at the subject(s) field in several records. You’ll see that the subject term is "Capital punishment." Click the subject heading to find more records with this subject.)
- Revise and refine your searches.
- 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.
Subject encyclopedias have a wealth of background information that can provide you with a strong foundation upon which to build your research. To find a subject encyclopedia, try the search strategies shown in this tutorial or try a keyword search in SOUTHcat for the subject and the word encyclop?
Example: To find a communication encyclopedia, do a SOUTHcat keyword search for encyclop? communication?