F&M College Library

CNX 146: Great Mysteries of the Past


Remember that you need to use keywords when searching in library resources. Think about keywords that might be used to describe your topic and brainstorm synonyms for those words to include in your searching as well. Use "" when you want to search multiple terms as a phrase. Keep in mind that the name of your language may be spelled in different ways. 

Don't forget to use words like AND, OR, and NOT (boolean operators) between your keywords to broaden or narrow your search. See the box below for a further explanation of boolean operators and wildcards. 


Name of your hoax/myth AND name of the country of origin or region ("burrows cave" AND "united states")
Name of your hoax/myth OR alternative names/spellings ("king tut" OR tutankhamen)





Boolean Operators & Wildcards

Boolean operators are a type of search feature that allow you to expand, narrow, or limit your search results. They are AND, OR, and NOT. 

  • AND will search for both terms that you link. 
    • Example: A search for cats AND dogs will retrieve sources that mention both types of animals. 
  • OR will search for either term, but not both together. 
    • Example: A search for cats OR dogs will retrieve sources that mention either cats or dogs, but not sources that mention both animals together. 
  • NOT will search for one term but not the other. 
    • Example: A search for cats NOT dogs will retrieve sources that mention only cats, and do not explicitly mention dogs. 

Wildcards are another type of search feature that replace a a single letter in a search term, or a variant ending of a word. Usually, wildcards are indicated by a question mark (?) or asterisk (*). 

  • Example: A search for wom?n will retrieve results mentioning women, woman, and womyn. 
  • Example: A search for cat* will retrieve results mentioning words that begin with cat-, including but not limited to cat, cats, Catholic, and more. 

Subject Terms

Use Subject Terms (assigned by the Library of Congress) to find like items in the library catalog and in journal databases. If you find a useful book or article, its catalog record usually will include Subject Terms under "Description" that you can use to find related research material. Below is a screenshot of a catalog record with subject hyperlinks. In the actual record, you will be able to click on the links to find related material. 


Many databases provide ways for you to limit your search results. If your initial search returns too many results try limiting these results using these features such as limiting by date, type of publication, subject, etc. 

Limit to Franklin & Marshall College

Limit to last ten years of publication

Limit to the subject area of anthropology or archaeology

Limit to articles