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WRI 112/113: The Craft of Authenticity: Searching by Subject

Guide for using the library for research successfully in Julianna Visco's writing seminar.

Class topics

BRANDING (MARKETING)
CLOTHING TRADE
CULTURE
FASHION
GENTRIFICATION
MASS PRODUCTION
MATERIALS
PIRACY (COPYRIGHT)
POPULAR CULTURE

 

Research Guides

Start here if your topic falls within a certain subject or discipline. These guides will point you to relevant resources available to you at Princeton.

Food/culinary research

Subject searching using the Library's Catalog

One way to locate material on your Unit 3 topic (mostly books) at the Princeton University Library will be to use the library catalog

In the Catalog, conduct a Subject (browse) search for a specific topic or person or geographic region, etc. Subject terms will often be sub-divided by a specific geographic region, time period, medium, etc.

Examples:
ARTISANS
AUTHENTICITY (PHILOSOPHY)
COMPUTER ART
CRAFT FESTIVALS
CRAFT SHOPS
CREATION LITERARY ARTISTIC ETC.
DECORATION AND ORNAMENT
DECORATIVE ARTS
DESIGN   (see also: DESIGN AND . . . like DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY)
DIGITAL ART
GLASS BLOWING AND WORKING
GLASS CRAFT
HANDICRAFT
INDIAN CRAFT
LACE AND LACE MAKING
MATERIAL CULTURE
POTTERY CRAFT
TRADE CATALOGS

ETC.

                          

 

General Searching Tips

The PUL library catalog is the place to begin your search to determine what books (and other items) we have at Princeton related to your research. The catalog is NOT generally the place to look for magazine, journal and newspaper articles, but you can do a Title starts with... search to determine if we subscribe to a particular journal in print or electronic form. For articles, you would use Articles+ or a subject-specific database.

Try to think of words that are specific to your topic. Think of multiple ways to describe what you want.

Use quotes for exact phrases: “Lorenzo the magnificent,”  “water lilies,” "history painting"

Combine keywords to narrow your search. The AND is automatic in the library catalog, but not usually in an article database (you must type AND, or use the Advanced Search): 

“art patronage”  Florence

history  “venetian painting”

(sculpture renaissance) not rome

Leonardo and Madonna

France nineteenth painting

You can also use truncation:  e.g. architect*  picks up words like “architects” and “architectural” (typically a * or ?)

Keep your search simple. After doing a keyword search (the default search in the catalog), try and limit the results using the “facets” on the left-hand side, like: Subject: Genre, and Subject: Era (and Language). When you find at least one item that seems relevant to your search for content, click on the title and look more closely at the item’s record: if it’s a physical book (vs. an online book or other item), look at the Subject(s) under DETAILS at the bottom. Are they useful for locating similar content, if so, click on one or more portions of the subject term.

Most searchers search by keyword, but subject searching can be very powerful and more precise. When you search by Subject (browse), you can search directly using these subject terms, which might describe a very broad concept, like “mannerism,” or a very narrow one, like exhibitions of Donatello’s “Judith and Holophernes”.

Subject terms used in the library catalog are terms used by many libraries in North America developed and created by the Library of Congress. They have evolved over time and adapt to reflect historical norms and changes and to reflect the language we use now and societal norms, but they are not perfect and change is slow. In general, be as specific as you can when coming up with subject terms.

You must put your search words in a particular order when using Subject (browse). A subject can be a person, like an artist, architect, photographer or designer: LAST NAME, FIRST NAME, a specific (well-known) monument, an art movement, a general concept or theme, an artistic medium, a historical event, a geographical region, etc. Headings are left-anchored, which means you need only type in the first few letters/words to see all headings beginning with what you specify.

Alternatively, you can try a Subject (keyword) search to search for any word appearing within a subject term without regard for the proper word order. For both Subject (browse), and Subject (keyword), if there are too many results, one can "edit search" at the top and add an additional keyword to the search.