Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

CLAB05/HISB10: History and Culture of the Greek World

Getting Background Info

Before you do a search, you will need to generate some keywords - words that are relevant to your topic. These words can consist of the following:

  • Individuals (historical figures)
  • Demographic Groups
  • Location (City, Country, Region, etc)
  • Time Period
  • Theme

You can use Wikipedia to get some background information about your topic, however, never quote from Wikipedia. It is not considered a scholarly source.

Because you are focusing on a movie critique, you can also use the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) to find additional background information that may give you some insights about the film. However, again, this information is not scholarly, so please do not quote it in your assignments.

Relevant Areas in the Library

The UTSC library organizes its books according to the Library of Congress Classification. Under this system, books are assigned call numbers. The subject of the book determines its call number. So, books on the same topic will be in the same area. For this class, the D section (world history) is relevant.

Baffled by the call number system? Click here!

Here are selective outlines of two sub-sections of D that will be of particular interest.

Subclass DE   

Call Number




DE1-15.5 Geography
DE23-31 Antiquities. Civilization.
DE46-73.2 Ethnography
DE80-100 History

Subclass DG

Call Number



Ancient Italy.  Rome to 476

DG75-190 Antiquities.  Civilization.  Culture.  Ethnography
DG221-225 Pre-Roman Italy.  Etruria.  Etruscans
Kings and Republic, 753-27 B.C.
Foundations and kings, 753-510
Republic, 509-27
Subjection of Italy, 343-290
Conquest of Mediterranean world.  264-133
DG242-249.4 First and Second Punic Wars.  Illyrian wars.  264-201
DG250-253 Wars in the East and in the West. 200-133
Fall of the Republic and establishment of the Empire.  133-27
Period of Marius and Sulla (Pompey).111-78
Julius Caesar.  First Triumvirate, 60
Second Triumvirate, 43-31
DG269.5-365 Empire, 27 B.C. - 476 A.D.
DG275-309.3 Constitutional Empire, 27 B.C. - 284 A.D.
284-476.  Decline and fall

Searching Tips

Quick Info

To find primary and secondary resources, you usually have to use Boolean Operators. These Boolean Operators include AND, OR, NOT.

Search Tips

Use keywords found during your background research and combine them using AND, OR, NOT:

AND - The AND operator is used to narrow a search or to make it more specific. Example search: apples AND oranges. Items that contain BOTH terms will be found. Items that contain just apples, or just oranges, will not.

OR - The OR operator is an inclusive operator. Example search: apples OR oranges. Basically, the opposite of the above. Use OR to combine synonyms or variant terms for the same concept, such as oranges OR tangerines OR clementines.

NOT - The NOT operator is also used to narrow a search but it is done by exclusion. Example search: apples NOT oranges. The result is items that contain the word "apples", but eliminates items that contain the word "oranges". The NOT operator can eliminate items with useful information, however, because it does not weigh the significance of the occurrence of the word. If the item is primarily about apples and only mentions oranges incidentally, the item will not be retrieved. The NOT operator should be used with caution.                                                                                                                                                         

[Adapted from Cal Poly Ponoma library]

Watch a short video about Boolean Searching, created by the University of South Florida Polytechnic

Tips and Tricks

Map of the Roman Empire. (Xerones, Flickr)

Additional Search Strategies

This course focuses on the history and culture of the Roman world, from the Etruscan period to the Constantinian dynasty. This gives you a number of different search terms.

Time period

  • ca 800 BC to 363 AD, or from the 9th century BC to the mid-4th century AD
  • First centuries, The Republic, The Principate, The Early Dominate

If you're not sure which time period you want to focus on, you can do a general subject search (here the search terms are 'roman history') and then view books by time period:


Combine specific subject keywords with more general terms, such as 'rome AND greece' and then refine by time period as seen above.

Other subject keywords to consider:

  • specific people (Augustus, Constantine, etc)
  • specific regions, provinces, geographical features, or sites

Pull subject terms from readings, lectures, and the syllabus.