Skip to Main Content

HY 442: Research Seminar in European History: Emigration and the British Empire: Finding Books

Originally developed by Jason Ezell


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 ("british empire")
    • Truncation – use ? after the root of a word to find all its variants (brit? would find britain or british)
    • Browse the Subject(s) field in records to find the right words for searches. (Example: Try doing a keyword search for "british empire" emigrat?, then look at the subject(s) field in several records. You’ll see that the subject term could be "Great Britain --Emigration and immigration." or "United States --Emigration and immigration --History --19th century."  Click the subject heading to find more records with this subject.
  • Revise and refine your searches. Combine words or phrases (Advanced Boolean Search).
  • 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.

Search Google Books

Part of Google's library-scanning project. Only books in the public domain are shown in full text. Others may have just a citation or show selected pages from the book. Remember, you can check SOUTHcat to see if we have a book you find in Google Books if the full text is not available.

Google Book Search

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.

  • "british empire" history
  • "great britain" history sources
  • women "great britain" history
  • "george v" history "great britain"
  • imperialism
  • "great britain" "foreign relations"
  • britain colon? history
  • "social condition?" "19th century" brit?
  • "prime minister?" correspondence "great britain"
  • history "19th century" "great britain"
  • "womens rights" brit? history
  • victoria "great britain" history
  • women literature "great britain"
  • politic? "great britain" source?
  • "imperialism in literature"
  • engineer? history brit?
  • india? independence
  • brit? "ethnic relations"
  • travel? europe? histor?
  • sport? brit? history
  • military brit?
  • colonial? diar? brit?
  • brit? biography engineer?
  • "great britain" emigration history


WorldCat Search

Search for an item in libraries near you: >>

If you cannot find what you are looking for in SOUTHcat, try looking in WorldCat. It will allow you to search the catalogs of many other libraries around the world. If you find something you like, let a librarian know, and we may be able to get the item for you through Interlibrary Loan.

Things to Remember about ILL

Please keep these things in mind when considering using ILL:

  • Check SOUTHcat to make sure we do not have the book or journal 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 ILL 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. 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