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Keyword Boolean Searching: Home


Keyword Boolean and Subject Heading searches

Subject headings are "controlled vocabulary".   A controlled vocabulary makes a database easier to search by placing all variations of an idea under a single word or phrase, eliminating guess work and making searches more efficient.  For example, if I want to search for English Setters I could use: dogs, canines, hunting dogs, English dog breeds, etc.   The controlled vocabulary for this concept is Dogs, which provides an organized list of available materials:

If I really only want books about English Setters then searching in Keyword for "english setters" might be a better choice. Keywords come from several parts of a record, not just the subject field; in the example below english setters was in the Note field. 


Books About Art

Remove irrelevant titles (like the industrial uses of oil paint) by limiting results to the art library collection.  Select Modify/Limit Search and then art library.
Under Limit search select art library:

More about Subject Headings and Keywords

Subject Headings

Subject headings group titles on the same topic together under standardized words and phrases.  They are assigned by trained experts (catalogers). For example the phrase Painting, France is a subject heading.  To find books on painting in France search for the subject Painting, French, then select a relevant sub-heading like: Painting, French -- 16th century:   

Keywords can come from several places in a record, not just the subject field.  Search oil painting as a keyword since there is no subject heading available.  Placing quotes around "oil painting" searches for the phrase.  Keywords are highlighted in each  record in the results list.