Summon is the UBC Library's meta-discovery tool that provides a single starting point to find and to access the majority of the UBC Library collections - including books, ebooks, scholarly journals and articles, newspaper articles, dissertations and theses, videos, maps, manuscripts, music scores, digitized items, and more.
Summon is very fast and excels at finding our ebooks and a multitude of other resources using keyword searching. It's a good starting point for research. Summon only indexes about 80% of our articles and doesn't cover some full text resources such as the Oxford reference guides so you should also use the Library catalogue and specialized databases for your research. It's useful when you are searching for a specific journal article. Use the Library Catalogue if you want to search by specific fields (i.e. author, title, call number, subject headings, etc.).
When searching Summon, it's important to use quotation marks around phrases.
Compare these two searches: dramatic theory versus "dramatic theory"
Narrow your results to books/ebooks or scholarly articles.
Summon is useful for finding a specific journal article quickly. For example, if you were trying to find Jill Dolan's 2001 article Performance, Utopia, and the "Utopian Performative" published in Theatre Journal, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp.455-479, you can search the article title in Summon: "Performance, Utopia, and the Utopian Performative"
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Most library catalogues use Library of Congress Subject Headings for subject description. These are available in a six-volume set on the counter behind the Koerner Research Commons Desk.These subject headings:
Reliable searching depends on understanding the relationship between natural language and deliberate subject description. The latter structures and controls natural language. Use of controlled subject headings or a thesaurus eliminates synonyms, defines a hierarchy of inclusion (broader than, narrower than), and indicates some less precise semantic connections. Scope notes may elaborate on distinctions made among terms.
For example, the subject heading Drama has a scope note and many cross-references, which give a good sense of the range of possible headings:
Scope note: Here are entered works on drama as a literary form. Works on drama as acted on the stage are entered under Theater. Works on Facilities used to stage drama are entered under Theaters.
When you are starting your research on a topic, try looking up your key concepts in the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Often you will find ideas for other terms that will help you to find more relevant materials held in the Library.
After you find a relevant book on your topic, you can also browse the catalogue by the Library of Congress call numbers to find more titles.
You can also search for books by play titles and the names of actors, writers, directors, etc. To find books, book chapters and essays about specific plays, you should use keyword searches or search broader subject headings. For example, for books about Misanthrope, I found 70 items by the following keyword search: misanthrope moliere
You can also find relevant books searching the author as a subject. For example, try browsing moliere as a subject or the following subject searches: