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Urban Studies

Searching the WU Library Catalog

Searching the WU Catalog Using Keyword Search and Subject Searching


Search Strategies - Keyword: Keyword searching uses any words you can think of that best describe your topic.

Sample WU Catalog Keyword Search Strategies:

urban AND history AND renewal

"urban renewal" AND “Saint Louis”

"urban renewal" AND “Saint Louis” AND history

Search Strategies - Subject Headings:

Most academic libraries use Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) for subject searches in their online catalogs. Subject searching is more specific than a keyword searching: it looks in only one field, the  subject field.

Subject headings are elements of a "controlled vocabulary," as opposed to the above natural language keyword searches.  Subject headings are specifically applied to most  nonfiction catalog items. Sample WU Catalog Subject Heading Search Strategies:

City planning -- Missouri -- Saint Louis

Hazardous waste site remediation -- Missouri -- Saint Louis

Housing -- Missouri -- Saint Louis

Inner cities -- Missouri -- Saint Louis

Neighborhood planning -- Missouri -- Saint Louis

Neighborhoods -- Missouri -- Saint Louis

Neighborhoods -- Missouri -- Saint Louis -- History

Urban policy -- Missouri -- Saint Louis

Urban renewal

Urban renewal –Missouri—Saint Louis

Research Tip: Use both keyword searching AND subject searching to get the best results.

  1. Begin your search with keyword searching, using your own words that describe your topic.

  1. After getting relevant search results, go to the bottom on the online catalog record and click on one of the record’s subject heading. You will get a list of other titles in the online catalog that also contain that subject heading.  This should lead you to similar titles that are of interest.

Sample Titles:


The Broken Heart of America: St. Louis and the Violent History of the United States. Walter Johnson. New York : Basic Books, 2020. [eBook]

Suburbs. Colin Gordon.

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019. [eBook]

Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City. Colin Gordon.

Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. [eBook]

Old North St. Louis: Sustainably Developing a Historic District.

[Washington, D.C.] : EPA, United States Environmental Protection Agency, March 2016.

[online electronic resource]

Segregation by design (2.0): A Historical Analysis of the Impact of Planning and Policy in St. Louis. Edited by Catalina Freixas and others.

Saint Louis: Washington University in St. Louis, [2018] [online electronic resource]

Renaissance: A History of the Central West End. Candace O'Connor; foreword by Francis G. Slay; preface by William H. Danforth, 1926-2020 (Chancellor Emeritus of Washington University) St. Louis, MO : Reedy Press, [2017]

Becker Medical Library-Level 1 Reading Area  F 474 .S2 O18r 2017 

We stayed to Fight for City Living: How St. Louis Women Sparked a City Renaissance. Delphine McClellan. St. Louis : City Living Press, c1987.

Call Number: Olin Library Level 2 Stacks  HN80.S2 M34 1987