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MUL 535: History of American Music: 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 ("new orleans" jazz)
    • Truncation – use ? after the root of a word to find all its variants (diar? would find diary or diaries)
    • Browse the Subject(s) field in records to find the right words for searches. (Example: Try doing a keyword search for "new orleans" jazz then look at the subject(s) field in several records. You’ll see that the subject term could be Jazz --History and criticism. 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.

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.


  • "new orleans" jazz
  • jazz history
  • broadway music?
  • music? theater
  • america? musical
  • music "united states"
  • "popular music" "united states"
  • america? blues


  • Jazz --History and criticism.
  • African Americans --Music --History and criticism.
  • Rap (Music) --History and criticism.
  • Music --United States --History and criticism.
  • Musicals --United States --History and criticism.
  • Women musicians --United States.
  • Popular music --United States --History and criticism.
  • Women musicians --United States.
  • Feminism and music.

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.