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HIST 1861: History of Modern India

the Library Catalog Search Techniques

Sometimes keyword searches are the most productive searches, but for certain topics, it is possible to make use of the subject headings assigned to books, either by doing a subject search or including certain keywords commonly used in subject headings in your keyword search.

  • Names of both individuals and corporations/institutions make good subject headings, if whole books have been written about them. Type the surname first, followed by a comma.
    • Subject search: Gandhi, Mahatma - finds biographies of Gandhi (secondary sources)
    • Subject search: Roy, Ram Mohan - finds biographies of Roy (secondary sources)
    • Subject search: East India Company - finds books primarily about this company
    • Author search: Gandhi, Mahatma - finds works created by Gandhi (primary sources)
    • Keyword search: Gandhi, Mahatma and nationalis* - finds works that include Gandhi's first and last names, and also at least one word beginning with the letters nationalis, in the title, author, subject headings, or table of contents.
  • Add certain words to your keyword search to locate primary sources:
    • Gandhi, Mahatma AND speeches
    • Gandhi, Mahatma AND correspondence
    • India and British occupation AND sources. [for this one, you may use the Advanced search to force one or more of these terms into the Subject field].

Physical Book Locations


  • Most Ellis Library call number locations are open for you to find the book. Use the book location guide ("Find Call Numbers in Ellis" tab) to find out which floor of Ellis Library to visit.
  • Books with a Depository location, a Health Sciences Library location or any "W" (West) stack location within Ellis Library must be requested using the Request Item button in the MERLIN record.
  • Books from other campus libraries (e.g., Journalism Library) or other Ellis Library locations may be requested for pickup at the Circulation Desk, but this process usually takes several days, so it is faster to retrieve them yourself.

Searching Within and Across Books and Some Journals in HathiTrust

Note that many of the books available as "full view" in HathiTrust are quite old. If they were written as the historical events were unfolding, especially if based on firsthand experience, or consisting of documents that were not written by or for historians, they should be regarded as primary sources.