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ARTH 390 - The Arts in Italy - Iggy Beerbower: Finding Books

Finding Books

Crumb Library has print and electronic books that can help with your research topic. You can request books we don't own through Interlibrary Loan.

  1. Book Search - Best for quick keyword searching
  2. Advanced Book Search - Best if you know the author, title or subject headings, AND want to combine search terms

Other Library Catalogs and Requesting Materials

Library Catalogs are databases of records describing materials (books, scores and other items) on libraries' shelves. If we don't own a book or article, we will gladly get if for you through Interlibrary Loan. Searching catalogs, and completing request forms can be confusing, so ask for help if you have never done this before. Here are some basic strategies for requesting materials:

  • Book Search (BearCat) - SUNY Potsdam's catalog, covering Crumb and Crane Libraries. Broaden your search to include ALL SUNY LIBRARIES to locate books we don't currently own.
    • To request a book: follow the links (e.g. Check for available services).
    • Sign in (using your Campus Computer Account) to to see your options (either SUNY Resource Sharing or Interlibrary Loan)
  • WorldCat - a combined catalog of thousands of libraries.
    • Click on the link "Request item through ILLiad" to request an item.
  • ILLiad - the software used to manage Interlibrary Loan requests. You must create an account to use Illiad.
    • Log in (or create a new account) and click "New Request" to request an item.



Other Catalogs and Ebooks

Tips for Searching in Book Search and Advanced Book Search

Search for books using SUBJECT terms to get the best results on a topic. Subject heading are preferred terms, like tags assigned to records to help locate works on similar topics. Here are a few strategies:


  • Start with a SUBJECT search for your artist (e.g, Michelangelo Buonarroti)
  • Branch out using a KEYWORD search for your artist to find books that might have chapters on your artist.
  • Search by AUTHOR/CREATOR to find books that have images by your artist (e.g. Carravagio).

Monuments and Works of Art

  • Try a KEYWORD search (e.g. Sistine Chapel)
  • Note that the preferred SUBJECT term for the Sistine Chapel is actually "Cappella Sistina (Vatican Palace, Vatican City)"
  • Try redoing your SUBJECT search using the preferred term "Cappella Sistina (Vatican Palace, Vatican City)"


  • SUBJECTS such as "Italy history" or "Rome antiquities"
  • KEYWORDS such as "Apulia," or SUBJECT such as "Puglia"

Time periods 

  • Search with SUBJECT or KEYWORDS first, e.g. "Renaissance" or "Baroque" or "Mannerism," NOT DATES (e.g. not 1400-1550)
  • If you need to refine, add additional broad topics, not your artist (e.g. "Renaissance sculpture" or "Baroque painting")
  • Books about specific artists or specific works of art will not usually have SUBJECT terms for the time period
  • Books that cover a broad time period may have subject terms such as Painting--16th century.


  • Ceramics technique
  • Pottery technique
  • Mural painting and decoration technique (note that Fresco (or Frescoes) is not a preferred subject term)



Crumb Library: 315-267-2485
Crane Library: 315-267-2451

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SUNY Potsdam College Libraries
44 Pierrepont Ave
Potsdam, NY 13617