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KSL 2 Min. Tutorial: Catalog: Home

A short tutorial on how to find books on a specific topic in the Case library catalog.

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The book collections of the Case Libraries are best searched via the library's online catalog. You will find more relevant books on your topic if you use keyword searching to discover the correct subject headings for a topic.

Basic Searching Technique

 Step 1: You have a need. You want to write a paper on aspects of warfare between the different city states in ancient Greece. Start by reducing your topic to a few essential keywords. The topic: "aspects of warfare between the different city states in ancient Greece" can be reduced to "warfare Greece" as a first attempt at reducing the topic. Do not use too many terms for your string of keywords and stick to nouns for your terms.


Step 2: Go to the library's online catalog ( and enter your search as keywords:

Catalog image 1


Step 3: Among your results find a book which looks promising:

Catalog image 2


Step 4: Click on the title of the book to see the full record for it. Note the clickable authorized subject headings associated with this book. Choose one that looks promising and click on it. This will lead you to lists of other books which also have this assigned heading.

Catalog image 3

Look through those lists of books to find others on your topic. Go back to the first record and try other subject headings. You may also want to change your initial string of keywords to emphasis other aspects of your topic. In the case of the topic given above, you might try: city states Greece.

Final Tip!

If you use clickable subject headings to navigate through a topic in the catalog you can go far afield from your original search. Note the save record icon which shows up in different places in the catalog:

Catalog image 4

Use it to save records of books that look promising before you click your way too far from your original search.

Freshmen and women, if you have additional questions about the Case Libraries' online catalog, ask your Personal Librarian.


Research Services Librarian (RSL)

Brian Gray's picture
Brian Gray
Title: Team Leader Research Services; RSL for Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering AND Macromolecular Science & Engineering
Kelvin Smith Library 201-K
(216) 368-8685