Shatford Library

Shatford Library

Country Information

1. Library Catalog - Find Books and Media

The Library Catalog is a database of books, media and course reserves located in the library's collection. To find resources in the library by subject, you will need a call number which is based on the Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress Classification System and leads you to the specific item on the shelf. To find the call number, use the library catalog. (

Basic Search

Use the Basic Search to look for an item using keyword anywhere or in a specific field (eg. title field or subject field).

To find information about a person, use Basic Search within Subject Browse (select from the drop down menu).

To find information on a topic, you can use your keyword search results to identify library subject headings or you can select the Subject tab and type in a library subject heading.

Subject headings:

  • Political science
  • Developing countries - Encyclopedias
  • Ethnology - Encyclopedias

Related subjects (Broader, Narrower and See also):

  • Europe - Social life and customs
  • Africa - Social life and customs
  • Southeast Asia - Periodicals

To search for a title you have two options: 1. select title from the drop down menu (to search by title keyword) or 2. select title browse from the drop down menu, to search by exact title wording. (Skip the first word of the title if it is an article, e.g. 'a', 'an' or 'the').

To search by author, select the Author tab, then type in the author's last name, first name, e.g. 'Dalby, Andrew'.

Advanced Search

Advanced Search is used to combine topics, select search fields, and use other limitors to narrow a search.  You may want to search for an item using part of a title and selecting the title field from the drop down menu.  Another option is to search by ISBN.

To search by keyword, type in the words you want to search for then select from the menu whether you want to search for all of these, any of these (e.g., UN or United Nations), or as a phrase (e.g., World Health Organization).


Search for: Africa [all of these], Search in: [Subject]
Search for: culture language [any of these],
Search in:
[Keyword Anywhere]

Search for: politics government [any of these], Search in: [Keyword Anywhere]
Search for: Latin America [as a phrase], Search in: [Keyword Anywhere]

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2. Reference Books

Basically, there are two kinds of reference books: general resources, which are broad in scope and deal with all fields; and specialized resources, which deal with specific disciplines such as political science or geography. The titles cited below are only a representative sample of many specialized reference books that are available in the library.

General Reference Books

  • Leonard, Thomas M. Encyclopedia of the Developing World. 3 vols. New York: Routledge, 2006.
    • REF 909.09724 E 1, v. 1-3.
    • Includes information on developing countries, as well as subjects such as civil rights, refugees, etc.
  • Turner, Barry, ed. The Statesman's Yearbook: The Politics, Cultures, and Economies of the World 2002. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2007.
    • REF 311 S 1 2008 (Reference Desk)
    • Includes information on territory, population, constitution, government and energy resources.
  • World Today Series (In call number order)

    Western Europe. REF 940.558 W 1 2007
    Nordic, Central, and Southeastern Europe. REF 940.56 N 1 2007
    Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. REF 947.086 R 3 2007
    East and Southeast Asia. REF 950.428 E 1 2007
    The Middle East and South Asia. REF 950.428 M 1 2007
    Africa. REF 960.328 A 1 2007
    Canada. REF 971.064 C 1 2007
    The USA and the World. REF 973 U 6 2007
    Latin America. REF 980.038 L 1 2007


  • Kurian, George Thomas, ed. World Education Encyclopedia. 3 vols. New York: Facts on File Publications, 2002.
    • REF 370.3 W 1 2002 v. 1-3
    • While somewhat dated, there is useful information on the history and background of the educational system of each country. Check the table of contents to find your country. Countries are arranged in order by the categories: major, middle and minor.
  • Statistical Yearbook. Paris: UNESCO Publishing & Bernan Press, 1999.
    • REF 370.9 S 1 1999
    • Variety of statistics on education, science, technology, culture and communication. Examples: illiteracy rate, illiterate population, educational attainment.

Language and Culture

  • Crystal, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003.
    • REF 420 C 2, 2003
    • See Chapter 7: World English. Information on the use of English in different regions of the world.
  • Dalby, Andrew. Dictionary of Languages: The Definitive Guide to more than 400 Languages.
    London: Bloomsbury, 1998.
    • REF 410.3 D 1
    • Check the index to look up a country and its languages. Each entry gives a history of the language.
  • Encyclopedia of World Cultures. 10 vols. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1995.

    REF 306.03 E 1 v. 1-10

    • Each volume focuses on a different region of the world. Use the index (Volume 10) to look up a country and its cultural groups. Entries include history, settlements, economy, kinship, marriage, family, sociopolitical organization, religion and expressive culture.


  • Banks, Arthur S, Thomas C. Muller and William R. Overstreet, eds. Political Handbook of the World. Washington, D.C.: CQ Pr., 2007.
    • REF 329 P 1 2007
    • Information on government and politics
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3. Databases and Indexes - Find Articles

To access databases from the main library page, look for Browse Databases by Name |  by Subject (
  • Use Proquest, a database of periodical articles, to find articles about countries. As with the catalog, search under a variety of terms.
  • Use SIRS, a database of both periodicals and government resources.
  • Use CountryWatch to find political, economic, business information and current news about a country.
  • Use World Book Web to find basic articles and quick facts about countries.
  • Use Encyclopedia Britannica to find basic articles as well as Web links relating to countries.
  • To browse or search to see if the library has a subscription to a particular magazine, newspaper, or journal title use the Periodical Title List. (

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4. Resources on the World Wide Web

Finding reliable information on the web can be difficult.
Use the ipl2 site ( or see recommended websites below:

Country Studies
The Library of Congress Federal Research Division
Governments on the WWW
Anzinger, Gunmar
Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection
University of Texas at Austin
The World Factbook
Central Intelligence Agency
World Leaders
Central Intelligence Agency
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last updated: 07/15/2011 by D. Potter; P. Johnson revision #6