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HIST 043: Antislavery in America (SC): Finding Scholarly Books & Articles

History 043: Antislavery in America - Bruce Dorsey - Spring 2015

Advanced Tripod: use subject headings to browse for books on similar topics

Books you find in Tripod and other library catalogs will typically have subject headings assigned to them. Subject headings provide a consistent way to describe what books are about. In Tripod, subject headings are displayed as links to other books with the same subject heading applied.

For example, look at the Tripod listing for this book, Gateway to Freedom by Eric Foner.

Here are the subject headings applied to the book:

Each individual link (in between the >) points to a different set of books. Compare the books that come up if you click "Fugitive Slaves" with the books that come up if you click on "Fugitive Slaves > United States > History." Each book is only listed under the category that applies most precisely.

To browse for books with the subject heading "Fugitive slaves" and a variety of sub-headings, try this subject search in Tripod.

Finding Scholarly Journal Articles

When searching scholarly article databases, try a variety of keywords and search strings. Here are some examples:

antislavery OR anti-slavery OR abolitionist OR emancipationist
--- finds articles that mention any of these terms

(antislavery OR anti-slavery OR abolitionist OR emancipationist) AND ("new jersey" OR "new york") 
--- finds articles that match at least one of the terms in the first set of parentheses (describing the movement) *and* at least one of the terms in the second set of parentheses (describing the geographic area)

Specialized databases make it easier to find articles published in scholarly journals, and differentiate these articles from other kinds of sources. Here are links to some recommended databases for research in this course.