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EH556 -- Victorian Literature: Find Books (Library Online Catalog/JaxCat)

This Library Guide directs you to print and electronic information sources for Victorian Literature in all genres: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama. The Guide is selective, not comprehensive; the sources listed are representative of their type.

The Library Catalog and its Uses

A library catalog:

  •  offers a comprehensive listing of books, periodicals, audio & video media and other materials which make up the collection of its library
    • most records are for physical objects owned by and housed within the library
      •  catalog may contain records for digital or electronic sources which may be accessed through the library 
  • contains records for finding aids used to locate information information sources accessible via its library  

Most library catalogs are now online and can be accessed via the free and open internet; it is not necessary to access through the portal of a particular educational institution.

The object of a library catalog is to enable a person to find any work accessible via its library, whether print or non-print, by

  • author
  • title
  • subject 

"Known-item" searches are those in which the searcher already knows the name of the author or title of the work being sought.

"Unknown-item" searches are those in which the searcher is in doubt which information sources s/he needs. Subject and Advanced/Keyword (a more flexible type of subject search) searches are used to generate a results list of "known" items. 


A library online catalog contains records for

  • "whole" items (the entire work) either owned or provided access by the library
    • books, both print and electronic
    • journals, magazines, newspapers
    • musical scores
    • non-print media
      • CDs, DVDs, LP records, videos
      • kits, maps

An online catalog does not contain records for 

  • "partial" items owned or provided access by the library
    • the story, poem, or essay in the book
    • the article in the journal or newspaper
    • the song on the CD or LP

"Partial" items are "minor titles" which, if seen in print, would be enclosed in quotation marks  These are located through electronic databases or print bibliographies or indexes.

Searching JaxCat

LinkPath to JaxCat:  University home page ==> Library home page ==> Search Library Resources ==> radio button set to JaxCat (leave box blank) ==> Search

Tabs plus dropdown menu offer full array of searches available through JaxCat.  Note the Search Tips provided for each search tab.



  • last name first if author is a person
  • organizations also can be authors (corporate author) whose names are entered in normal order


  • based on Library of Congress subject headings
  • person as subject = last name first

Note: Library of Congress Subject Headings (available on each floor of the library) is an alphabetic listing, with cross references) of the subject headings used in JaxCat.  The Library of Congress Classification, also available on each floor, provides the same information, only in call number order.


  • more flexible than subject search
    • has its own dropdown menu
    • has its own set of limiters
      • "Location" limiter has "Reference Collection"
  • Boolean operators describe relationships between terms surrounding the operators
    • if keyed manually, Booleans must be in ALL CAPS
  • multiple-word search terms should be entered <as a phrase> 
  • facets (dashed sub-headings) from Subject results can be placed in a searchbox to customize a search

Dropdown menu off Basic Search

Author: (last name, first name) is the more precise search

Title: True Title is the most precise search, Title Keyword(s) the least

  • omit leading articles (a, an, the) from title search; including them will yield zero search results

Book item record

Subjects are relevance hierarchical from the top down

  • way to expand search results: clicking on a subject reveals a new list of books to be mined for information

Relevance matching trifecta:

Searchbox terms found in book title or Subjects = +1

Searchbox terms found in Full Record View (upper right of pane) = +1

Searchbox terms found in "About This Book"/abstract (lower right of pane) = +1



Books: General

Now I've got my book; what do I do with It?

Use the entire book; don't go immediately to the main text.  Use the front matter to help align your approach to the book to the author's interests and intents, and employ the back matter to help navigate the main text and amplify its contents.  While the Acknowledgements, Preface, and Contents Page may be helpful, of greater use will be the 


  • puts into perspective what follows in the main body of the book
  • gives history of subject or of scholarship on the subject
  • identifies the intended primary audience for the book (usually scholarly peers in the field, not students)
  • specifies what is included in the book and why (e.g., response to an earlier book on the subject), or excluded from the book and why
  • if book is an anthology, often offers brief summaries of the essays within (i.e., abstracts)
  • drops names and titles which themselves may provide subjects for further research 

Main Text (Body)

  • the core of the book, the written result of the research
    • peruse Contents page (front matter) for titles of articles/chapters/essays
    • consult alphabetized index (back matter) for references to things addressed in the book, along with page numbers
    • look for sectional interchapters (e.g.,  Strange Tales from the Strand), which often are name-/title-droppers
      • ​can reference obscure authors or titles which themselves can be suitable topics for research (canon expansion)

The back matter of a book usually clarifies  or makes more easily navigable the main part of the book (Index), or expands upon the contents of the text.


  • contain information complementary, but not essential, to the main body of the book
    • too long to be included in  the main text or notes section of the book
    • precedes notes, glossary, bibliography, and index


  • a brief statement that
    • explains or elaborates upon on a point in the main text (contents note)
    • identifies the source of a quote or idea which does not originate with the author (source note)
    • may appear at the bottom of the page containing the text to which they refer (footnote) or at the end of an article, chapter, or book (endnote)


  • an alphabetic list, with brief definitions, of specialized terms used in the main text of the book
    • sometimes called "professional jargon," as it is used primarily in a particular profession or field of study 


  • as a part of an individual book, either
    • a list of sources cited in the text of an article or book
      • avoids plagiarisn and shows the author to be a good citizen in the community of scholars
    • a list of additional works suggested by the author for further reading
      • may represent a "working" (sources consulted) rather than a "final" (sources used) bibliography


  • an alphabetic listing of subjects (personal names, places, subjects) treated in a book, with page numbers to refer the reader to the place(e) in the book where the matter is mentioned or discussed