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ARTH McNamara Classes: Finding Books

The Task


  1. You need to locate in either BearCat or WorldCat:
    • An encyclopedia entry for your artist from the print copies in the Crumb Library
    • 3 monographs on the artist and their works (do NOT include biographies)
    • 2 histories on the timeframe or art styles / movements
    • 2 scholarly books on the art of the country the artist is from or where they worked
    • 1 exhibition catalog of the artists work
  2. You must cite all items in Turabian format
  3. For each item, you must indicate
    • The resource you used (e.g. BearCat, WorldCat, Art Index)
    • If Bearcat, include the location and call number
    • If WorldCat, indicate ILL.
  4. Dr. McNamara has an example bibliography if you need an example of Turabian format.

Searching Library Catalogs

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 Libraries.  This interface is also our uber database search tool.
  • WorldCat - a combined catalog of thousands of libraries.  Used for interlibrary loan
  • Illiad - the software used to manage Interlibrary Loan requests.  You must create an account to use Illiad.

Search tips:

  • 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.

Extra suggestions for your particular requirements

3 books on the artist and his/her works.  No biographies!

  • Start with a SUBJECT search for your artist.
  • Branch out to a Keyword search for your artist.

2 histories on the timeframe or art styles / movements

  • search with words first, e.g. renaissance, world war II, impressionism, NOT DATES
  • if you need to refine, add additional broad topics, not your artist (so add art or painting instead of Rembrandt)

2 scholarly books on the art of 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

1 exhibition catalog of the artists work

  • use the word exhibitions and your artists name as a SUBJECT search

NOTE: For this assignment, it is important to pay attention to the PUBLISHER.


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

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SUNY Potsdam College Libraries
44 Pierrepont Ave
Potsdam, NY 13617