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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design

History of Adornment

Library resources for Jewelry + Metalsmithing 4440

Search tips

Search tip #1: Brainstorm keywords. Brainstorm variations on your keywords! Write them all down! Always try more than one search!

If you are researching Navajo jewelry, you may know that people of this nation use the term Diné, or "the people". That would also be a useful word to search. Terms related to identity, ancestry and geography shift over time. You may find texts referring variously to the jewelry traditions of American Indians, Native Americans, Indigenous or Aboriginal people, more specific groups, etc. While certain words are preferred in different places and times, you will see many of them in use in historic library books. Keywords for common materials such as turquoise and silver might be useful as well. 

Search tip #2: Use advanced search tricks

Rather than enter separate searches for each variation or a word, use the wildcard symbol * to find many results at once:

example: adorn* will search for variants of the word (adorn, adorns, adorned, adorning, adornment)

You can also use it in the middle of a word:

example: wom*n - searches for woman, women, womyn

If you want to search for an entire phrase, put it in quotation marks to prevent the search tool from splitting the phrase into separate words.

example: "body modification" (24 results) vs. body modification (85 results)

Search tip #3: Explore by subject

Subject headings are a powerful tool to use when searching the library's catalog or databases. Rather than finding items that include your search term anywhere, a subject search will find materials specifically cataloged under that subject. Subject terms are linked and can be used like tags to sift through results (e.g. in Fleet SEARCH) or browse the catalog:

examples (SUBJECT searches in the Catalog):