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Library Catalogs are databases full of records of information about what is on a libraries shelves
BearCat - SUNY Potsdam's catalog, covering Crumb and Crane Library. Once in this database, you can expand your search to the whole SUNY system.
WorldCat - a combined catalog of thousands of libraries. Used for interlibrary loan
Illiad - the software used to manage Interlibrary Loan requests.
Use the correct mechanics of searching:
AND – connects different ideas
( OR ) - for lists of synonymous or related terms
Stem* - finds all word endings of a given stem (stem need not be a complete word
“ “ - keeps phrases of multiple words together
Discover and then search with the correct SUBJECT vocabulary
Dates are tricky. Words expressing time periods are more accessible for student searching than actual year ranges
Remember, you are NOT searching the full text of the books, but merely a compressed record of information about the book. Use a modest number of truly important keywords, not full sentences.
Extra suggestions of particular use
Remember, in an academic setting, the scholarly focus of your classes is about the WORK, not the ARTIST. So NO BIOGRAPHIES. Your selections should be about the works, styles, time periods, medium, etc, but NOT the artist's life.
Use SUBJECT searching.
While you can search for your artist's name, watch out that the word "biography" is not in the subject.
For histories on the timeframe or art styles / movements
search with words first, e.g. renaissance, world war II, impressionism, DON'T use dates
if you need to refine, add additional broad topics, not your artist (so add art or painting instead of Rembrandt)
For scholarly books on the country the artist is from or where they worked
Use the correct name of the country as a subject search term (so Netherlands, not Holland or Dutch)
Add a keyword if necessary for the time period of your artist
For exhibition catalogs of the artists work
use the word exhibitions and your artists name as a subject search