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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design

E101: First-Year Literature Seminar

Start your research here.

Search the RISD/ATH Catalog

RISD Library and the Providence Athenaeum Library share an online catalog. We call it RISD/ATH.
There are four main entry points into the catalog: Keyword, Subject, Author, and Title. A sound search strategy uses multiple approaches to find information on a topic. Begin by doing a search in the RISD/ATH Catalog.

Search by KEYWORD

Begin with a keyword search, then browse the titles of the books retrieved. Select useful titles and look at the subject headings of those titles. These subject headings can lead you to additional books on your topic.

examples: short stories african american

                  american women writ*  
                 *truncation - use the asterisk* to truncate the root of a word in a keyword search to find variants of that word
                  example: writ* retrieves write, writer, writing, written

Search by SUBJECT
Subject searches offer a rich and systematic entry into the catalog by way of the subject headings assigned to each item. By exploring subject headings, one may uncover new facets of a topic and related items cataloged under the same subject terms. Use subject headings to gather terminology that can be used when searching meta-catalogs, google books, and article databases.

examples: American fiction -- 20th century
                  Drama -- 20th century -- History and criticism
                  Historical fiction, American
Literature  -  70 Related Subjects
                  Novelists, English -- 20th century -- Biography

Search by AUTHOR
Search by the author's name (last name, first name) to locate writings by a particular author.
example: Hemingway, Ernest
Search by TITLE
Use title searches when the exact title is known. Leave out articles such as a, an, the(e, el, le, la...)
example: ship fever