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									Shane Plante                                     Instructor: Jennifer Campbell-Meier                 1
America: History and Life (Tutorial)                   March 9, 2007      LIBR 530

Searching for History articles using
America: History and Life
About the database:
America: History and Life covers the history of Canada and the United States from prehistory to
the present. The database includes over 530,000 bibliographic entries from more than 1,700
journals, with entries dating back to 1954. America: History and Life contains abstracts and some
full-text articles; it indexes journal articles, book and media reviews, and dissertations.
Approximately 16,000 new entries are added to the database annually.
full-text links to over 219,000 entries

To access America: History and Life:
    1. Go to UBC Library homepage (
    2. Click on the “Indexes and Databases” icon near the top of the page.

    3. You will be taken to the “Online Indexes and Databases” page. In the search box, type
       “America.” Click Search.
    4. Click the link America: History and Life.
    5. Click the link Connect via the Web. You will be taken to the basic search screen for the

(Note: to access this database off-campus, you will have to log in via VPN or proxy server. If you
are unable to access this database, consult the Library’s “Remote Access: VPN/Proxy” page:

Getting started in America: History and Life:
Along the top of the page, you will have four options on the navigation bar:

Advanced allows you to go to the “advanced” search screen.
CLIO Notes provides you with chronologies and summaries of major events and themes in
American history.
Journal List takes you to a list of the periodicals included in ABC-CLIO Serials Databases.
(Note: not all journals listed are included in America: History and Life.)
Help offers search tips and links to a drop-down menu of help topics and a detailed user guide.
Shane Plante                                     Instructor: Jennifer Campbell-Meier              2
America: History and Life (Tutorial)                   March 9, 2007      LIBR 530

Below the navigation bar are two search boxes: one for Keywords and one for Subject Terms.

The Keywords box allows you to search titles, abstracts, authors, and subject terms.
The Subject Terms box allows you to search indexed terms.

If you click Advanced on the navigation bar, you will be given an additional 7 search boxes:

Basic searching:
We will use the Basic search screen and focus on searching using Keywords and Subject

For search tips, place your cursor directly over the purple words “Keywords” or “Subject Terms”
to the right of the search boxes.

A few search tips:
    o Search an exact phrases using quotation marks
    o For Boolean searching use AND, OR, and NOT
    o Wildcards (sometimes called “truncation symbols”) are * or ?.
Shane Plante                                       Instructor: Jennifer Campbell-Meier              3
America: History and Life (Tutorial)                     March 9, 2007      LIBR 530

Now we are ready to begin searching.

   1. Enter two (or more) terms related to your topic in the Subject Terms search box. (Note,
      terms entered separately)

   2. To limit your search to articles, click in the box to the left of “Articles.” Click Search.
   3. Look through the results of your search and locate one relevant article.
   4. Click on the word record to the right of “Expand.”

   5. On the left, you will now have the article’s abstract, and on the right you will have the
      subject terms assigned to the article. Use both the abstract and the subject terms to
      determine the relevance of the article. (Note: if you want to see the abstracts and subject
      terms for all records from a search, click group instead of “record” in step 4.)
   6. If you decide that this article is relevant, you can use the subject terms listed to expand,
      narrow or alter your search. Just click in the box(es) to the left of the appropriate subject
      term(s) and click Re-search Subject Terms.
Shane Plante                                     Instructor: Jennifer Campbell-Meier                4
America: History and Life (Tutorial)                   March 9, 2007      LIBR 530

   7. To make a list of relevant articles, click in the boxes to the left of the phrase “Check to
      add to Personal List.”

   8. To view your list, click Display Personal List.

   9. To change your search terms, click Refine Search.

   10. To begin a new search, click New Search.
Shane Plante                                     Instructor: Jennifer Campbell-Meier             5
America: History and Life (Tutorial)                   March 9, 2007      LIBR 530

Useful search options:
Browsing subject terms:
Click the book icon to the right of “Subject Terms” to browse the Subject index.

Customizing search fields:
Click view to the right of “Add/Remove Search Fields” to add more search fields.

The search fields available are the same as those in the advanced search screen.

Viewing your search history:
Click view to the right of “Search History.”

You will now be able to review the searches you have already completed.

You can re-run any of these searches by clicking on the list of search terms. For example, I could
click on DOCTYPE=article, TERMS=Mennonites Manitoba to re-run my first search.

If you have questions about this database (or any other questions related to finding History
articles), you should contact the History subject specialist librarian, Keith Bunnell.
Phone: 604-822-3748

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