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Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Guide to library resources in Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Using the QuickSearch to find Books and Media

Helpful Hint: Use keyword searches in QuickSearch to begin your search, then use what you learn to help you build more effective, targeted searches using subject headings.

Example: We're interested in women in politics in Mexico, so we start with a general keyword search:

women politics mexico

The results will include books, articles, and other materials, some on your topic, but also some that are only tangentially related.

  • Use the Resource Type filter at the left to limit your results. You can select Books, Videos, Government Documents, or one of many other options.
  • Click on the "Remember all filters" option at the top of the filters menu if you want your choice to persist throughout your search session.
  • Now choose one of the items in the results list that does fit your topic and look at the full record. You'll notice that the Subjects of the item are listed (for example, Women -- Political activity -- Latin America). Click on the subject that most closely matches what you need, and you'll get a much better list of materials that is highly focused on that topic. [NOTE: The Subject filter at the left of your results can also be used to narrow your search. The subjects listed there are generally less specific than those you'll find in an item record.]

Once you've identified a specific Subject, you can do an advanced search using only a part of the Subject you found, or replace one or more of the terms with others that are more relevant. For example, using the "Women -- Political activity -- Latin America" subject as a starting point, you can replace "Latin America" with "Mexico" and do the search this way.

  • Start at the QuickSearch Advanced Search screen.
  • Change the "Search filters" from "Any field" to "Subject."
  • Enter and run your search.
             women political activity Mexico

This search is much more effective than the keyword search we started with, and will return materials specifically about women in politics in Mexico. 

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