Skip to main content

PHILOSOPHY RESEARCH GUIDE: Encyclopedias & Finding Books

Start here for help with your philosophy research. Recommended databases are included, as well as information on how to contact the Philosophy Librarian.

Reference Encyclopedias

Finding Books

The first place to check for books on your topic is the UR Library Catalog.  Here are some quick tips for effective catalog searches:

  • Start with a keyword search and when you have found one or two relevant books, examine their subject headings to help guide further searching.
  • The keyword search is searching the titles, subject headings, and any contents notes -- not the full text of the book.
  • If you want books about Descartes, use the Subject Heading Browse search.  Eg. Descartes, ReneĢ, 1596-1650.
  • If you want books by Descartes, use the Author search.
  • To search for books about a specific work -- search the terms together. Eg. Descartes Meditations
  • Most books about a topic are shelved together, so once you have a few call numbers, you can browse for others.  For example, most books on Descartes are found in the B1850s.
  • Circulating books are shelved on Boatwright's lower levels. Call numbers A-HF are located on B1; HG-Z are on B2.

WorldCat allows you to search library catalogs throughout the world.  You may request books from these libraries through Interlibrary Loan but allow 3-4 weeks to receive them.

Using Interlibrary Loan

If UR does not own a book that you need for your research, use Interlibrary Loan to request it from another library.  Depending on how long it takes for the loaning library to fill the request, you should allow 2-3 weeks for your book to arrive.  You will be notified through email when the book arrives and you can then pick it up at the Main Service Desk at Boatwright.