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Humanities - Shuler (Dale Mabry): More books, eBooks

Use this guide to help you find sources for your research paper!

Search PRIMO, the HCC Libraries catalog

Find books, articles, videos, & more

Search tips: defining your search

When searching in a library resource:

Start with just a few important, "key" words that describe your topic. These are your search terms.

You can add more or change them later, if needed.


islam women history can be made more specific by adding more terms, as in islam women history north africa

To broaden or narrow your searches, here are a few more suggestions:
  • Use "or" to expand a search to any or all terms, to make the search broader or more general.

For example: judaism or jewish and philosophy

  • To search a specific aspect of a cultural group, use the name of the group plus one or two words for the topic.

For example: ewe wedding customs 

  • Try synonyms or alternative terms to get additional or different results.

For example: ewe marriage traditions - compare this with the previous example.

  • Use a broader or a more specific term, as needed.

For example: japanese vases (narrow, specific) versus japanese ceramics (broader, general)

  • For words that go together in a certain order, search them as a phrase by enclosing them in "quotation marks."

For example:  "mesoamerican architecture" 


The examples here are not meant as topic suggestions, but simply to demonstrate a few search strategies.


If you're researching a cultural group, be aware that spellings can vary. As just one example, the Bambara people are also called Bamana

PRO TIP: A simple web search of your group will reveal if they are known by more than one name. Then, when you start searching library resources, try a separate search on each variation!

Compare the results from bamana masks versus bambara masks.

Here are some more tips.

Search tips: filtering your results

When viewing your search results:

Library search tools bring up results ranked by relevance to your search terms. You may find what you need just by scrolling the first few screens.

However, you can filter your results to certain types of items.

Below are filtered search results and which filter was applied to each.

Search Filter applied
islam women history Availability, Peer-reviewed Journals
judaism or jewish and philosophy and kabbalah Genre, Electronic Books
ewe marriage traditions Subject, Ghana
japanese ceramics Availability, Available On Shelf
"mesoamerican architecture" Resource Type, Books