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HIST 150: History Through Objects: The Atlantic World

Get Started with keywords

  1. Start by writing out your question or topic.
  2. identify key terms
  3. identify potential synonyms
  4. Use AND OR NOT to create search phrases. 
  5. Conduct several searches, revising keywords backed on subject terms & commonly used language in the articles/books.


1. I'm interested in books and the book trade in Colonial Williamsburg.

2. Colonial Williamsburg, books

3. Colonial Virginia, books, print, printing, paper?

4. ("colonial Virginia" OR "Colonial Williamsburg") AND (print* OR press OR book*)

5. After my searches, I may revise. Pay attention to subjects and keywords in the results. 

 In my case, subjects are "printers" "virginia" "williamsburg" "history" "book binders" "Booksellers and bookselling"

I might try a subject search for (Virginia AND williamsburg) AND history AND (printers OR "Book binders")

I'd also try a subject search for "Booksellers and bookselling" AND Virginia AND History

I'd try similar searching in the catalog, AHL, and worldcat.