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Course & Subject Guides

Scholarly Research for Theatre Design @ PITT: PittCat

A Resource Guide for Theatre Design Students

PittCat

PittCat PittCat is the main searching tool for all of the materials owned by the University Library System (ULS), including articles, books, ebooks, journal articles, ejournals, audio and video, digital images, government documents, microfilm and movies.

Searching Techniques

Phrase Searching - PittCat allows for phrase searching with the use of “  “. For example, the search "climate change" will find items with the phrase climate change in them.

Wildcard and Truncation – You can use wildcards (* and ?) symbols to search PittCat.

Advanced Searching - Check the Advanced Search for more tips and techniques to enhance your search, including Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT). Note: Boolean Operators must be entered in all uppercase/capital letters.

Request Material in PittCat

You can request material through PittCat using Get It, even for material that we do not own. You must be signed in and then click on the item you need. Options within the item:

If you have any questions about this, please contact us so we can work with you to try and get the material you need.

Searching PittCat

Signing into PittCat gives you access to the most results. The sign in option is in the upper right hand corner of your screen. 

To begin a search, enter a term in the “search anything” box. You can select Books, Articles, and More to search for items across the entire library system including journal articles, images, ebooks, and more. Use the Library Catalog option to search for items available both electronically and physically in our libraries such as books, videos, music scores and more. The Course Reserves option will help you find materials put on reserve by instructors for a specific course.

The Results Screen shows you a list of items with basic information--click on a title to get a more detailed overview of the item you’ve selected. This detailed view gives you much more information about the item. You can see where the item is located and ways to email or print the record as well as how to cite. You may also see an abstract for the item or a table of contents if available.

You can Refine Your Results by using the menu on the left. If you only want a physical copy of the book pick “library holdings” or if you want an electronic copy of a book, choose e-book.

If Full-Text Content is available, you can get the full-text by clicking on the item title or the "available online" link.

You can add Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT) into the Simple Search (the default search box) by adding them in all caps.

PittCat Basic Search

Save, Email, & Export

push pinAs you search in PittCat, you can keep track of important items by saving them to your Saved Records list.  To save a record you must be signed into PittCat.  Select the record you want to save, and select the push pin icon in the upper right of that record.

To see your saved records, you can click on the push pin next to your name in the upper right corner or click on your name to open the drop-down menu and select My Favorites. Select the Saved Records heading to see a list of those items you have saved.

You can print, email, or export your selected items individually or as a selected group.

Use the EndNote/Zotero feature to save the items to import into citation management products.

Search Terms & Tips

Keyword/Subject Subdivisions

Adding subdivisions to a search will help you to locate primary source materials. For example, if you need primary sources on the Holocaust, perform a keyword search by entering the terms "Holocaust survivors interviews." Other subdivision terms that can be used to locate primary sources are:

  • sources
  • archives
  • correspondence
  • diaries
  • notebooks
  • personal narratives
  • speeches
  • fiction
  • reports
  • pictorial works
  • songs and music
  • cases
  • case study

Restricting by Date of Publication or Format

Limiting sources to a particular date of publication will help you to locate contemporary sources published at the time of an event. For example, if you are studying British Literature during WWII, refine your search results by using the publication date limiters on the right to retrieve novels published only during the years 1939 to 1945.

Limit a search by format

Select archives/manuscripts, map, videos and dvds, photos and images, music, or music scores from the format list on the left as appropriate to your need.

Subject Heading Searching

Using subject headings can really streamline your searching.  Try some of the examples below, or look at the examples in the Drama & Theatre Guide.

To locate dictionaries and encyclopedias in drama and theater arts:

DRAMA DICTIONARIES
AMERICAN DRAMA DICTIONARIES
THEATER DICTIONARIES

To find books in the ULS on drama or theater history generally:

DRAMA HISTORY AND CRITICISM
THEATER HISTORY

For books on the drama or theater history of a particular nation or city:

GERMAN DRAMA HISTORY AND CRTICISM
THEATER FRANCE HISTORY
THEATER ENGLAND LONDON HISTORY
THEATER PENNSYLVANIA PITTSBURGH HISTORY

For materials on a specific topic in drama or in theater history or production:

MELODRAMA
ACTING
TRAGEDY MIME
GREEK DRAMA
TRAGEDY
STAGE FIGHTING
MUSICALS
COSTUME DESIGN
PUPPET THEATER
THEATRICAL MAKEUP