SearchWorks is Stanford’s online catalog/database for on-campus library resources: books, magazine and journal titles (but not the individual articles within them; for a discussion of these see the "Finding Articles" tab), e-books, DVDs, etc. SearchWorks allows for two main methods of searching: the Basic Search at the top of the page, and the Advanced Search, which can be accessed by clicking on "Advanced" at the top of the page.
The Basic Search performs a lot like a typical Web search engine, bringing back hits from a keyword search, sorted by relevance. The Advanced Search allows for much more specificity and flexibility, as you can limit a keyword search to specific fields (e.g., title, subject terms) and/or restrict results to a certain library, language, etc. In addition, in the Advanced Search mode you can elect to sort results by a method other than relevance: by year, title, or author.
Some key components of an item record in SearchWorks:
⇒ More about Library of Congress Subject Headings
⇒ More about call numbers
Socrates is Stanford's other, older online catalog/database for on-campus library resources. It has a few features that make it worth using in conjunction with or instead of SearchWorks. For instance:
 Searching for Personal Name:
For books on an individual artists, architects, designers, critics, etc., the most focused search is via the Combined Search page. Select Personal Name (not Personal Author) from the options available and enter the name in any order. Or, on the Simple Search page try full name as a Keyword search and Search Everything. [Comparable SearchWorks tip: try the Advanced Name search.]
 Searching for Subjects:
For searches on subjects, start with the Simple Search screen and search on Keyword in Title. Start with basic terms. When you find items on your topic click on Details to see the individual records for those items. Note the Subjects (LC) (Library of Congress Subject Headings; see above). Once you find LC terms that relate to your topic, use Simple Search, enter the term, and Browse on Subject (make sure to delete the dashes). This puts you into one of the database's indexes, where you can get an organized overview of the catalog's subject listings, in alphabetical order. [SearchWorks tip: to get started, type in your basic title terms in the Basic Search box; use the drop down arrow to select Search Title. When you find items that relate to your topic, open each record and review the Subjects. Click on the ones that seem useful to see other records like it.]
It's worth spending some time exploring the similarities and differences between SearchWorks and Socrates. Both contain the same information, but how the information is retrieved and displayed differs significantly.