ENGL 3894 - Major Figures in Literature: Toni Morrison - Goddu

Conquering Call Numbers!

I've got a call #, now what?

Image of a call number label


Click the link below for more information.

Finding Sources

Vanderbilt University Library Search

Selecting the best search scope for your research needs:

Everything vs. Library Catalog vs. Articles

Search Scope What is included? When should I use it?
  • Broadest search scope
  • Results will include books and ebooks, articles, and media like DVDs
  • A great option when you are just beginning your research process.
  • Use Everything when you want to survey the research landscape for your topic
Library Catalog
  • Focuses on VU owned items, physical and digital
  • Results will include books and ebooks, and media like DVDs
  • Digital collections like the TV News Archive will also be included in your results
  • You have defined your information needs
  • Use Library Catalog when you are ready to create a tailored search for your topic
  • Content from selected VU databases
  • Popular and scholarly articles
  • Use Articles to find popular and scholarly articles on your topic.
  • The Articles scope does not search across all databases accessible to the Vanderbilt community.
  • Not finding the articles you need or want more database options?

For a more detailed explanation of your search scope options consult What am I searching?


Keyword vs. Subject Searching

Step 1:  Start your search process by brainstorming a list of keywords that describe the main concepts of your topic or question.

Step 2:  Use these keywords for your initial searches.

Step 3:  Use the Subject Heading links in the Library Catalog record to refine your search.

Screen shot of catalog record for book Playing in the dark : whiteness and the literary imagination that highlights subject heading links.

 What is Find it at VU button ?

FindIt@VU provides direct links from a database citation to the fulltext of the article (if available) and other supporting resources.

An FAQ for FindIt@VU is also available.

Using Advanced Search to Find Sources


Finding Books About an Author (Author as Subject), Including Criticism

  • Select Subject and enter the author's name (last name first).
  • Limit material type to Books
  • Special characters like accents and umlauts can be ignored.

Screenshot of advanced search with Subject field and Material Type Books highlighted in yellow. Example search of author as subject.


Finding Individual Works in a Collection

  • Select Any field and enter keyword(s) in the title of the work.
  • Select Author/Creator and enter the author's name (last name first).

Screen shot of Advanced search with Any Field and Author/Creator highlighted. Example search for locating an individual work in a collection.


Finding Criticism on an Individual Work

  • Select Any field and enter keyword(s) in the title of the work.
  • Select Subject and enter the author's name (last name first).

Screen shot of advanced search with Any Field and Subject field highlighted. Example of search for criticism of an individual work.