Victorian Literature IS NOT a subject heading in the library catalogue.
Try some of the following:
English Drama - 19th century
English Fiction - 19th century
English literature - 19th century
Novelists, English - 19th century
Poets, English - 19th century
Authors, English - 19th century
Also, look for the subheading "criticism and interpretation" after an author's name (if you have entered the author's name as a subject heading, this will retrieve books ABOUT his/her works).
Creating a Search Strategy
Step 1 - Formulate Keywords
Author's last name or Title of a work
Topic - a theme, a genre, a historical period, a character's name, a writing style or narrative technique
TIP - browse a thesaurus or a subject heading list in a database if one is available. Certain databases will have subject headings that may be critical for your retrieval of relevant information. For example, in the Library Catalogue, there is no subject heading for Victorian Literature.
Subject headings do exist for:
English Literature - 19th century
Novelists - 19th Century
Step 2 - Categorize/choose your keywords/phrases
Select at least two words. Each should represent different concepts in your topic. Combine concepts in a search with AND
Dickens AND poverty
Gaskell AND "industrial revolution"
Step 3: Refine your search if needed
Limitresults by using more specific terms
"strike" AND Gaskell
Limitresults by adding additional search terms to add other concepts
Poverty AND Dickens AND David Copperfield
Limitby types of sources - like peer reviewed journals
Expand a portion of your results by using more search terms with OR
Example: (poverty OR poor) AND Dickens
Expand the a search term by truncating if you can:
(strik*) to pick up striking strikers, strikes etc)