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Re: Libraries and their problems

Poster: Orendil@aol.com

As for myself, I view any research effort as a bit of an adventure. Because
one can never tell what directions it can branch off into. And sometimes, the
hardest part is getting the system to give you the information you want - by
the most roundabout ways.

One primary method is to take a source that you already have, and check what
subjects it is listed under in its catalog entry: I remember when I was
looking for information down at LOC on medieval games - particularly chess
pieces. I hit some particularly good sources after I noted that in the catalog
entry for one book, the subject entries included 'ivory carvings'. A search on
that topic gave me a book with numerous pictures of game pieces that I would
never have seen while searching under 'games'.

And one of the reasons I enjoy using the ESS (Experiment Search System) from
the Library of Congress online catalog is its ability to 'browse the shelf'.
After doing the search, and selecting a particular book, the system allows you
to 'scroll' up and down the 'shelf' where the volume is located. Again, I have
found many pertinent sources this way that did not show up in the simple
search efforts.
(here's a link to that particular system...)
 <A HREF="http://lcweb2.loc.gov/resdev/ess/booksquery2a.html">The Library of
Congress Experimental Search S...</A> 

And of course, while at the LOC waiting for them to find my selections......I
always wander the reference stacks in the particular reading room I'm in. It's
amazing the stuff you can stumble across doing that....

    -----  Research......half the fun is in the hunt.....
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