Advanced Searching in Tripod
1.) Keywords allow you to construct a search that reflects multiple issues in your research question. Building sets of related concepts and looking for their overlaps gives you more relevant and precise results. This approach is also called Boolean searching.
Related concepts (witch* OR devil** OR demon*)
Tips: Enclose in parentheses
Capitalize the ORs
* ( Truncate) Searches root words with all the different endings; politic* = politics, politician, political, etc.
“ “ Enclose phrases in quotation marks, e.g. “witch hunt*” to get the words together in that order
(witch* OR devil* OR demon*) (britain OR england) (gender* OR women* OR woman* OR female*)
Tips: Add the other related concept groups
Tripod automatically supplies the AND between parentheses so that you see only titles that have at least 1 keyword from each of the 3 groups
Results display automatically in relevancy order with the records having the highest number of keywords appearing first
Sorting for the newest books shows recent scholarship first
Sorting by oldest books is useful for finding primary sources
2.) Subject Headings allow you to find relevant material grouped together including titles that do not use the keywords you may have been searching.
Finding subject headings
Look at a book record in Tripod, check the subjects assigned to it, and choose whatever ones are relevant for your research.
Example: Malevolent nurture: witch-hunting and maternal power in early modern England
by Deborah Willis. Cornell University Press, 1995.
Shakespeare, William, > 1564-1616 > Knowledge > Occultism.
Witchcraft > England > History.
Witches > England > History.
Mothers > England > Social conditions.
Persecution > England > History.
Witchcraft in literature
Subject search witchcraft england history = 66 results
Refining subject searches
You can combine different concepts into a single subject search for precision. The results are more focused than a keyword search. But all the words have to be terminology used in library subject cataloging.
To ensure this, you can use subject headings you have already found. Another option is to browse in the subject headings for more choices.
Combination subject search:
Searches witch, witches, and witchcraft
"history" added to eliminate titles about the modern era
3.) Other Databases
Other databases covering journal articles and primary sources also rely on advanced searching with AND and OR. Historical Abstracts and Bibliography of British and Irish History work best if you build synonyms together in one box in parentheses, e.g. (trade or smuggl*) and leave the connectors as ANDs.