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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

History 498D : Local History in a Global Context

Guide to finding resources on the local experience of global events

What is the Online Catalog?

The UIUC Library is one of 70+ member libraries comprising the I-Share consortium. I-Share libraries share an online catalog, Illinet Online, and UIUC students, staff, and faculty can borrow directly from the other libraries in the consortium by placing a request through the catalog.

You can also search the UIUC catalog separately. When you use the Library Gateway, this is the first option under “Library Catalogs,” and normally you will want to start by searching UIUC only.

Why Use the Online Catalog?

Use the online catalog to do a subject search for books or to find out where a particular book or journal is located in the Library.

Books and journals are organized in the library by subject. Each item is assigned one or more subject headings and a unique call number. Subject headings are standardized terms from the Library of Congress. The call number is based on the Dewey Decimal Classification.

Why Bother with Subject Headings When You Can do Keyword Searching?

It’s true that you can find sources on a topic by doing keyword searches. But if you only do keyword searching, you are likely to miss important material on your topic that uses other terms. If you only need two or three books, you'll probably find what you need by doing keyword searches, but if you are doing a research paper, you can’t afford to miss critical material on your topic. For a comprehensive subject search, search with subject headings as well as keywords.

A good way to identify subject headings for a topic is to do a keyword search in the online catalog using terms you think describe the topic and try to identify a few relevant books. Look at the full record for those books to see what subject headings were used, then do another search on those headings.

You will probably find more than one subject heading to describe your topic.  In order to see records for all the books on the topic, use all of the subject headings you find.  Even if you find the perfect subject heading describing your topic, you'll need to use broader headings as well, in order to make sure you don't eliminate relevant material that is contained within works of wider scope.

You can narrow your search in the online catalog by combining subject headings (as a phrase) with keywords, using the “Advanced Search” option.

Some Examples of Subject Headings

Champaign County (Ill.)--Biography
Champaign County (Ill.)--History
Champaign County (Ill.)--Description and travel
Champaign County (Ill.)--Calendars


Business enterprises--Illinois--Champaign--Directories
Champaign (Ill.)--Economic conditions
Champaign (Ill.)--Maps

Urbana (Ill.)--History
Urbana (Ill.)--Church history 

University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign campus)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign--History

Indians of North America--Illinois--Champaign County
Illinois--Emigration and immigration--History
Depressions--1929--Illinois
Coal mines and mining--Illinois--History
Strikes and lockouts--[industry]--Illinois
Agriculture--Illinois
Farm life--Illinois
African Americans--Illinois--Champaign
Student movements--Illinois--History
World War, 1914-1918--Illinois
World War, 1939-1945--Veterans--Illinois

Chicago (Ill.)—Ethnic relations
Chicago (Ill.)—Social conditions
Chicago (Ill.)—Politics and government
Chicago (Ill.)—Race relations
Chicago (Ill.)—Intellectual life
Chicago (Ill.)—Social life and customs
Chicago (Ill.)—Economic conditions
Chicago (Ill.)—Politics and government
Chicago (Ill.)—Emigration and immigration
Chicago (Ill.)—History
Chicago (Ill.)—History, local
Chicago (Ill.)—History—1875-
Chicago (Ill.)—Church history
Chicago (Ill.)—Statistics

Illinois—Race relations
Minorities—United States—History
Immigrants—United States—History
Italian Americans—Illinois—Chicago
Italian Americans—Ethnic identity
Hispanic Americans—Illinois—Chicago
German Americans—History


African Americans—Illinois—Chicago
African Americans—Illinois—Social conditions
African American women—Illinois—Political activity
African Americans—Civil rights—Illinois—Chicago—History
African Americans—Migrations—History—20th century
African Americans—Housing—Illinois—Chicago—History

Civil rights movements—Illinois—Chicago—History—20th century
Migration, internal—Illinois—Chicago—History

Searching the Online Catalog

To search the online catalog, go to the Library Gateway and click on Library Catalog. The online catalog offers both “Quick Search” and “Advanced Search” options. Use “Advanced Search” to identify subject headings on your topic, to combine subject headings (or elements from subject headings) in a Boolean search, or to combine keywords from any part of the record with subject headings to narrow your search.

Use “Quick Search” to browse a subject heading, to search a title when you know exactly how it begins, to locate a work or works by a particular author, or to search by call number for a specific book.