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ARTH 231A Prints & Print Culture of Early Modern & Modern Japan: Starting Your Search

Searching DePauw's Online Catalog

Your Search

Unlike Google, library databases cannot process an entire sentence. You will need to break your topic down into the most important ideas - the keywords.

The specifics of your topic will matter when selecting sources, but for searching you only need the most essential components:

Example Topic: What was the impact of the Meiji Period on Japanese art?

Keywords: meiji period, japanese art

Most words have synonyms that mean the same, or very similar, things.

Keyword: woodlbock    Synonym: woodcut

Sometimes scholars use terms that you might not be familiar with, or which might mean something very specific within the discipline.

While searching, look for unfamiliar terms or words that reoccur

Try searching for those and see if you find more relevant sources.

Most library databases have built-in filters to refine your search. Try some of these:

  • Subject: Use them to find sources about that subject.
  • Date Range: Limit your search to sources published between specific years.
  • Peer Reviewed: Limit your search to scholarly journal articles.
  • Full Text: Make sure all of the results are available to read in full.

Advanced Search Tools

Use the operator AND to find only sources that mention both keywords.

Meiji AND woodblock

This search will bring back fewer results than searching either keyword on its own.

Use the OR operator to expand your search with additional keywords.

Meiji OR woodblock

This will find sources that include either word, so you'll see more results than by searching for just one keyword.

Use the “QUOTES” strategy to search for several words in a phrase.

"meiji period"

This will bring back results that only use that exact phrase.

Music, Media, and Creative Arts Librarian

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Sylvia Yang
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