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Country + Regional Information

This guide describes how to find country and regional information using a variety of research tools.

Using the Library (Classic) Catalogue To Find Country/Regional Information

Basic Search Using Keywords

 Features of the Basic Search

  • Uses keywords, ie., main search words, in any order
  • Uses Boolean Logic, ie., and, or, not
  • Uses Phrase Searching, ie., use of " " around words that you want searched together
  • Uses truncation - $

Where does the search take place?

  • Words that are typed into the search box are searched in the catalogue record or parts of the record

There are 3 ways of finding country information in the Library Catalogue:

Keyword Searching

 

  • Keyword Anywhere Search All
    • Use the name of the country and any other words that you are interested in searching
      • eg.  democracy and china
     
 
  • Keyword in Subject 
    • Use the name of the country and any other words that you are interested in searching, eg.  democracy, but, do the search in Subject

Basic Catalogue Search

Tip for Searching Countries When a geographic area is used as a subject,  attention must be paid to any name changes that the specific country may have had over time. 

Subject Terminology Used in the Classic Catalogue

Subject headings are used in library catalogues.  These are:

  • specific words or phrases that used to describe the subject content of a publication. 
  • controlled vocabulary which ensure the consistent use of the same terminology for different publications.

Most North American college and university libraries use the Library of Congress Subject Headings   Canadian libraries also use Canadian Subject Headings.  

Here are some examples taken from the Library of Congress Subject Headings:

Examples

China

  • China (Republic : 1949- )
  • China (Northwest)
  • China (Southeast)
  • China (Southwest)
  • Manchuria (China) = used for Northeast China, or China, Northeast Pacific area

Russia

  • Former Soviet Republics = used for works discussing collectively the independent countries that emerged from the dissolution of the former Soviet Union in 1991
  • Russia (Federation)
  • Russia (Territory under White armies, 1918-1920)
  • Russian S.F.S.R.
  • Soviet Union

United Kingdom

  • Do not use this term.  Instead use:
  • Great Britain = Here are entered works on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which comprises England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, as well as works on the island of Great Britain. Works on the Republic of Ireland and on the island of the British Isles called Ireland are entered under Ireland. Works on the non-jurisdictional island group comprising the islands of Great Britain, Ireland, and smaller adjacent islands are entered under British Isles.

If information on specific countries cannot be found, then look for information on the geographic region to which that country belongs.

Examples:

  • Asia
  • Middle East
  • North America
  • Southeast Asia

Tip for Searching Regions:  When a geographic area is used as a subject heading, attention must be paid to any name changes that the specific region may have had over time.

Subject Terminology Used for Regions of the World

 As with countries, standard terminology is used to describe a region.  Library of Congress Subject Headings are used to determine the subject headings for regions of the world.

Examples

Middle East = region consisting of Asia west of Pakistan, northeastern Africa, and occasionally Greece and Pakistan. Works treating collectively the Arabic-speaking countries of Asia and Africa, or of Asia only, are entered under Arab countries.

  • Arab countries = used for works treating collectively the Arabic-speaking countries of Asia and Africa, or of Asia only. Works on the region consisting of Asia west of Pakistan, northeastern Africa, and occasionally Greece and Pakistan are entered under Middle East.
  • Orient = used for the region that extends from the Mediterranean and Red Seas to the Pacific Ocean, encompassing the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, etc., but excluding Siberia. Works that focus on a narrower region within the Orient are entered under the name of the more specific region, e.g. East Asia.

Central Africa

  • Do not use this term.  Instead use:
  • Africa, Central = used for works on the region of Africa that includes what are now the Central African Republic, Gabon, Congo (Democratic Republic), and Congo (Brazzaville), and also sometimes Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Burundi, and Rwanda.

Western Africa

  • Do not use this term.  Instead use:
  • Africa, West
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