As a first step, it is worthwhile to take a look at general and/or subject-specific reference works. With these works you can get a rough overview of your topic. In addition, they provide you with the first suitable bibliographical references, which you can search for in the local library catalogue; the titles found in this way can again contain relevant bibliographical references for your topic in the bibliography ("snowball system").
The next step is a systematic search, which paves the way to the most up-to-date literature on your topic and aims for completeness. Your search will no longer be restricted to the local library catalogue, but will also include supra-regional union catalogues and meta catalogues as well as specialist reference databases.
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