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ENGL 3927: Senior Seminar: Nineteenth Century American Women Writers

Advanced Search Techniques

Catalog search tips:

  • If you know exactly what book you are looking for, you can search by Title, Author, ISBN, etc.
  • To find items about a specific topic, first try a keyword search in All Fields.
  • Use "quotation marks" to search for an exact phrase: "women's suffrage".
  • Use * for truncation (to find variant spellings and endings of a word): censor* will find censor, censors, censorship, censorious, etc.
  • For more complex search, use AND and OR (note that AND and OR must be in ALL CAPS for this to work correctly in CLIO):
    • AND finds records which have ALL the search terms you entered.
    • OR finds records which have one of the search terms you entered, as well as records which have more than one of the terms. OR finds MORE.
    • For more help with using AND and OR, check our guide to advanced/Boolean keyword searching.
  • Use parentheses ( ) to group terms:  white* AND (wom*n OR feminis*)

Searching in Catalogs

Accessing Books and/or Book Chapters Online

Ebooks and ebook chapters

To limit your search in the CLIO Catalog to ebooks, select the "Online" option in the Format box on the left side of the results screen:

When you click on a link to access an ebook, please note that you might be prompted to log in with your UNI and password. Once you do this, you should be able to view your ebook!

Look out for options to download portions of the text (like chapters, or pages in a specified range). Not all ebook formats include this option, but many do. 


Scanned books available to read online via HathiTrust

Many books (and even some periodicals) that are normally available only in print, can now be read online via Columbia Libraries, in a partnership with the HathiTrust Digital Library. These books are not visible as "online" resources or ebooks in the catalog. Instead, they can be found by limiting your search results by Location, and selecting HathiTrust ETAS:


To read a scanned text online via HathiTrust, you will need to:

  • Click on the link reading "Log in for temporary access."
  • Most likely, you will be prompted to then enter your UNI and password.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the "Temporary Access" link.
  • Click on the "Check out" button at the top of the next screen to virtually "check out" the text to read for an hour (with automatic renewal if you are still reading after an hour). 

Keep in mind: You won't be able to download chapters easily from the reader. For saving individual pages, you might wish to use the screen capture feature on your device. 


Using Interlibrary Loan to Request a Scan of a Book Chapter

In some cases, you might wish to access a chapter from a book that is not available to read digitally. To do this, you can make use of Interlibrary Loan. You'll need to know in advance the page numbers you wish to access. 

From the CLIO Catalog, you can access the "Scan" option in the box on the right hand side of the item record. 

Interlibrary Loan: This page will take you directly to the ILL form (for when you want to bypass CLIO). You can use the form to request a digital scan of a book chapter or article, as long as you have the basic information (title/author of source, page numbers). You can do this regardless of whether Columbia has a book in its collections.