Skip to Main Content

Colored Conventions Project

Finding Books ...

Search Omni to find books, journals, videos and other materials owned by the Library.  You can search by keywords, author, title or subject headings.
To find a specific known item, search by title or author, using Advanced Search.  

Author/Creator   is (exact)   Shadd Mary  

Subject   is (exact)   Shadd Mary
To find books on a topic, either try a subject or keyword search.

Subject Headings versus Keyword Searching

Subject headings allow you to search the library catalogue for resources on a particular author or topic and are often more productive than keyword searches. 
Keyword searches work best if you have multiple concepts or topics. Think of the words that best describe your topic and then connect them with the boolean operators AND OR NOT.
To find books on a topic, use a keyword search, for example: 
("african american?" OR black) AND (vote OR voting OR suffrage) AND "united states"
Select useful titles and look at the full record for subject headings. Use the results to find relevant titles and identify assigned subject headings for your topic in order to find similar books. .
African Americans--Suffrage--History--19th century.
TIP: Different indexing words were used during different time periods, so the best search term depends on the publication date of the material.
According to the Library of Congress subject headings, the standard search term for African American or Black American is African American.
Works may also be listed under African Americans (plural) when the subject deals with African Americans as a group. The term African American is used primarily as an adjective modifying another group designation.
For example: African Americans -- Civil rights deals with the civil rights of African Americans.
Examples of subject headings:
African American authors -- Diaries
African American women -- Fiction
African Americans
African Americans -- Louisiana -- History -- 19th century
African Americans in literature.
African American authors -- 20th century
African Americans -- Poetry
African Americans -- Suffrage
American literature -- African American authors
American poetry -- African American authors
Black Canadians -- Ontario -- History -- 19th century
Blacks -- Ontario -- History -- 19th century
Free African Americans
Fugitive slaves -- Ontario -- History -- 19th century
Freedmen -- United States
Slaves' writings, American

Subject Headings

Subject headings can be narrowed by subdivisions, which often denote genre, chronological period, or subtopic.
Commonly used subdivisions include:
  • Anniversaries
  • Bibliography
  • Biography
  • Civil rights
  • Correspondence
  • Intellectual life
  • Diaries
  • Education
  • Folklore
  • History
  • Literature
  • Periodicals
  • Political activity
  • Religion
  • Social conditions
  • Social life and customs
  • Societies, etc
  • Songs and music