The Penn Libraries have an enormous collection on South Asia, and searching for the right book on your topic will usually overwhelm you. These tips will help you tackle Franklin Catalog, the Penn Libraries book catalog.
Searching for foreign relations books is pretty straightforward and there's no need for super-special tricks OR for doing overly-simple "relevance" keyword searching.
You will usually want to search for words that appear in Franklin subject headings. Selecting "Subject Heading Keyword" from the search-type dropdown list restricts searching to occurrences in subject headings. "Subject Heading Keyword" helps in South Asian studies searching by filtering out non-subject occurrences of a word: think about how many of our books in all topics have been published in India and Pakistan!
If a book is generally about a country, the country's name will appear in its subject headings. Books generally about relations between two countries will include both country names. Two Library of Congress Subject Headings examples:
If your country name has changed over time, know those names! "Keyword Expert" (dropdown) or "Advanced" (tab) searching makes combining these quasi-synonomous terms easy - AND DON'T FORGET THE "or"!
|subject:(russia or "soviet union") [Keyword Expert]|
|subject:("east pakistan" or bangladesh) [Keyword Expert]|
Think regionally, too. Books about more than one South Asian country will get a "South Asia" subject heading, with perhaps a couple country-name subject headings, too.
Every country has its events, organizations, and other signifiers. Do trial keyword expert searchs using buzzwords you know, or consider these established subject headings:
|India--History--Partition, 1947.||Bengal (India)--History--Partition, 1947.|
|Dismemberment of nations.||Partition, territorial.|
|Pakistan movement.||All-India Muslim League.|
|India-Pakistan Conflict, 1947-1949.||India-Pakistan Conflict, 1965.|
|India-Pakistan Conflict, 1971.||Bangladesh--History--Revolution, 1971.|
|Sino-Indian Border Dispute, 1957- .|
|Atomic bomb--India.||Nuclear arms control--India.|
|Nuclear disarmament--India.||Antinuclear movement--India.|
|Peace movements--India.||Nuclear nonproliferation--India.|
|Asian-African Conference (i.e., the Bandung Conference)|
|Religion and politics--Pakistan.||Terrorism--Religious aspects--Islam.|
|Islam and politics--Pakistan.||Hinduism and politics--India.|
|Hinduism and state--India.||Secularism--India.|
|Afghanistan--History--1989- .||Afghanistan--History--Soviet occupation, 1979-1989.|
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There's a rich variety of subject heading subdivisions describing relations between countries. They include:
|foreign relations||foreign relations administration|
|foreign economic relations||economic sanctions|
|international relations||international economic relations|
|national security||military policy|
|economic assistance||economic development projects|
|agricultural assistance||agricultural development projects|
|industrial development projects||rural development projects|
|educational assistance||medical assistance|
|population assistance||international relief|
|humanitarian assistance||food relief|
|technical assistance||tied aid|
|disaster relief||drought relief|
|earthquake relief||tsunami relief|
|cultural relations||ethnic relations|
|social relations||educational exchanges|
|emigration and immigration||visitors, foreign|
|assisted emigration||brain drain|
|investments, foreign||foreign exchange|
|debts, external||debt relief|
Consider this "Keyword Expert" search:
subject:(assistance OR "development projects" OR relief) AND subject:(bangladesh)
Franklin Catalog uses special subject heading subdivisions to indicate that books contain special kinds of material. There are several Penn Library Web research guides offering help on finding diaries and personal narratives, speeches and transcripts, and travel narratives. Try keyword expert searches using these subject terms: