Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

History 498H: Europe and the World, 1600-1750

A course guide

The Online Catalog

Use the Online Catalog to find books. In the Online Catalog you can search for books by subject, or you identify the location within the Library of a particular book or journal.

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.


The UIUC Library is one of 75+ member libraries comprising the I-Share consortium. I-Share libraries share an online catalog, I-Share, and UIUC students, staff, and faculty can borrow directly from the other libraries in the consortium by placing a request through the catalog.

Why Bother with Subject Headings?

It’s true that you can find sources on a topic by doing keyword searches. But if you limit yourself to 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 can probably find what you need by doing keyword searches, but if you are doing historical research, 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.

As a rule of thumb, use fairly broad headings, as well as the specific ones that describe your topic, in order to make sure you haven't inadvertently eliminated relevant material that is contained within works of larger scope. Most likely you will find multiple headings to describe your topic, and you should use all of them. You can narrow your search in the online catalog by combining subject headings (as a phrase) with keywords, using the “Advanced Search” option.

Some Example Subject Headings

  • Plantation life--Southern States
  • Plantation life--Trinidad
  • Plantation life--Barbados
  • Plantation life--North Carolina
  • Plantation life--West Indies
  • Plantation life--Caribbean Area
  • Plantation life--South Carolina--History
  • Slavery--United States--History
  • Slavery--North Carolina--History
  • Slavery--Southern States--History
  • Slavery--Economic aspects--Caribbean Area
  • Slave labor
  • Slave insurrections
  • Slaves--West Indies
  • Slaves--Virginia
  • Slaves--Emancipation
  • Slaves--United States--Biography
  • Slaves--Caribbean Area--Biography
  • Women slaves--United States--Biography
  • Slaves--North Carolina--Biography
  • Enlightenment.
  • Enlightenment--Austria.
  • Enlightenment--Europe.
  • Locke, John, 1632-1704.
  • Locke, John, 1632-1704--Bibliography.
  • Locke, John, 1632-1704--Books and reading.
  • Locke, John, 1632-1704--Correspondence.
  • Locke, John, 1632-1704--Criticism and interpretation.
  • Locke, John, 1632-1704--Diaries.
  • Locke, John, 1632-1704--Influence.
  • Locke, John, 1632-1704--Library.
  • Locke, John, 1632-1704--Political and social views.
  • Locke, John, 1632-1704 Political science.
  • Locke, John, 1632-1704--Religion.
  • Coffeehouses--England.
  • Coffeehouses--England--Anecdotes.
  • Coffeehouses--England--London--History.
  • Coffeehouses--History.
  • Libraries--England--History--18th century.
  • Libraries--Europe--History.
  • Publishers and publishing.
  • Publishers and publishing--England.
  • Publishers and publishing--England--History.
  • Publishers and publishing--England--History--18th century.
  • Publishers and publishing--England--History--Bibliography.

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.


In addition to the 12 million+ printed books available to you here in the Library, we also have a rapidly growing collection of digitized books. Most of these collections support full-text searching.

ACLS Humanties Ebook.
Collection of over 3,300 scholarly books in the humanities, selected for their importance to researchers.
Internet Archive and Google Books.
Millions of books digitized from the collections of North American and British research libraries, including University of Illinois. These are the two largest digitized book collections that are free to use.
Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO).
Fully searchable collection of nearly 150,000 English-language works published between 1701 an 1800. Search Tip! Try limiting your search to the “front matter” of books (tables of content, prefaces, forewords) or the “back of book” indexes.
EEBO (Early English Books Online).
English-language books printed between 1473 and 1700. Most of the books in this collection have subject headings.
ARTFL Project (Analyse et Traitement Informatique de la Langue Française).
Collection of French-language resources, including French Dictionaries of the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th Centuries, French Women Writers, and more.
Archive of Americana.
Books, pamphlets, and government documents printed in the American colonies and the United States between 1639 and 1819. Most of the books have subject headings.