It’s July.

How many “July” things do the JHU libraries have in their catalog? Let’s find out.

On the library home page, you can search for things. But we kindly allow you to choose to put in a few words just to see what comes up, OR whether you want to specify that your words should be in a title or a series of books or the name of a publisher or something else. When you click in the box, the advanced search screen appears:

July 2015 blog

Using this screen helps you to focus your search, and saves you a lot of time. How does it save you time? Let’s say that you’re looking for authors named July, or publishers named July, or things with the word “July” in the title. When you put “july” (no capitalizing is needed) into the single search box, you get 115,583 results. That’s a lot.

What happens if you put “july” into individual categories? Here’s the answer, in order of most to fewest:

  • Title – 34,169
  • Subject – 2,209
  • Author – 1,310
  • Series Title – 225
  • Publisher – 80
  • Numbers – 62 [really??]
  • Call Number – 62
  • Publication Year – 0 [not a surprise]

The first page of title results includes a book of poetry (online), a saxophone quartet, a novel about a class reunion, and a book by a Nobel prize winner. Cool.

Ah, over 2,000 “subjects” makes sense now that I see them; most things with “july” in the subject are about Independence Day, and the subjects are “Fourth of July celebrations” or “Fourth of July orations” (but not all of them). And who knew there were so many authors named “July”? There’s Miranda July, Serge July, Robert William July… oh wait; some of the author “fields” in the record have the word “July” in them. That pumps up the number, of course.

Series title is pretty obvious, just like title was, right? No, it’s not — it turns out that a lot of the titles of book or journal “series” have the month in the record, like this song about fleas. Same thing with “publisher“; look at the top of this record, under the big title and the author.

“Numbers”? How is the word “july” in any numbers? Ah, I understand now — those 62 records are all for JHU dissertations or essays, and the year is part of the call number. That makes it count as a “number.” That also explains why there are 62 “call numbers” with “july” in them — it’s the same group.

Happy July, everyone!

*Yes, some writing styles say that when it would be confusing to make something plural by only adding an “s,” you may add an apostrophe to make sure it’s clear. This is very sensible.

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