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MUSC 171: The Social History of Popular Music

RACER for InterLibraryLoan

If you can't find the book you need at Queen's, try RACER, our interlibrary loan service.

Keyword Boolean Searching: AND OR NOT

Keyword Boolean is useful if you don't know a specific author, title or subject heading for your topic. Choose keywords that best describe your topic, then combine with Boolean operators and”, or”, “not for multi- or complex topics.
Narrow or refine search by adding terms:

jackson and thriller
beatles and criticism
Broaden search by using "or" between similar or possible terms (nested in brackets), or using the "?" symbol to truncate to the root of a word for variable word endings (e.g. nouns, adjectives, adverbs, singular or plural):

rap and politic?
rap and (politic? or social or religio?)
motown and (disc or sound or video?) [e.g. combine with format term]

Use quotes around a multi-word phrase or concept:

"hip hop"
"popular music" and "political aspects"
"rock music" and women
"led zeppelin"

Limit large result sets by library location or by using "not":
music and war (limit to Jordan Music Library)
"protest songs" not (disc or video? or electronic)

From your results, select useful titles and click on the subjects assigned to find other books on your topic.

Browsing by Subject Headings and Call Numbers

Browsing by Subject Headings

Search some of these Library of Congress subject headings, clicking on Subject in the Omni drop-down menu:

Rock music
Punk rock music
Heavy Metal (Music)
Popular Music
Individual musicians' names (last name, first initial, no punctuation or capitals):

e.g.: lennon j

Browsing by Call Numbers

Browsing call numbers on shelves or online is another strategy for locating books on a topic that can lead to serendipitous discovery.  


Try searching a Call Number below to browse popular music topics (use Omni drop-down menu for browsing online):

   ML419-421 (biographies of performers)
   ML3470-3561 (Popular music – by region or country, special kinds and styles)
   ML3545-3776 (National music: blues, folk, jazz, national, ethnic, etc.)
   ML3917-18 (Protest music, social, political, racial and gender aspects of popular music)

Useful books for Popular music