Rare Book Monthly

Articles - June - 2003 Issue

Using Library Research Methods And Catalogs As A Supplement To AED And Book Collecting

Decker1

The New North, being Some Account of a Woman's Journey through Canada to the Arctic. Æ Database: Decker023-100


Subject

Searching by subject is handy if you want to know the exact subject heading a library is going to use. For example, if I wanted to find a subject term, I could look up the title, New North, being Some Account of a Woman's Journey through Canada to the Arctic and see the subjects that were applied: Northwest Canadian--Description and Travel. Then, I could go to the Subject Browse and plug in Northwest Canadian--Description and Travel to see if there are any other similar books written by women. When I enter in the phrase “women’s travel narratives” I get an alphabetical list of 25 related subject headings. Browsing through the list, I see several possible subject headings, including the heading “Women Travelers--North America," “Women Travelers--West--(U.S.)," “Women Travelers--West--(U.S.) History--19th Century” and “Women Travelers--Rocky Mountains--Biography." From here, each subject heading is linked to records that contain that particular subject heading.

Keyword

Keyword searching is good when you don’t have an idea of a specific title or subject heading, but you first want to see if there is anything under specific phrase in title, subject or author. Since the keyword search will look through each field in the entire database, the results will inevitably be huge if you use vague terminology. For the purposes of title, author and subject searching, I would recommend that you stick to those types of searches,. If I wanted to do a keyword search, for instance, on Western travel written by women, I would enter the query "overland + travel + wom?." The question mark is the truncation symbol used for the Library of Congress Catalog. This brings me about 9,000 records. In order to narrow things down, I run a more specific query: "+ lady + California + travel." I also have the option to set limits to the search. So, I decide to add the date span of 1820-1920 in order to narrow down results. The final result here is 166 records, which is a much more manageable number. As you can see, the upside with keyword searches is that you will get results; the downside is that if you are not specific enough, you will get more results than you can count.

Coming Back Home With The Goods: How To Use The ÆD To Get The Most Bang For Your Buck

So, how is all of this information going to help me on the Æ Database, you ask? Well, there are several ways that you can use these tools to supplement your ÆD searching. For one, now you have a more complete listing of author names. For example, after running a search on the Library of Congress database, I have a couple of different ways to look up Mrs. Henry Beck in the Æ Database -- I know that she can be either Mrs. Henry Harrison Beck or Mrs. Henry Beck. I also know that she does not “officially” have a first name that I should also use when searching for her in the ÆD. Another way the library catalog footwork is helpful is that you can now take your list of titles that you had found on theÆD and look them up in library catalogs to determine what their "official" subject headings are.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions