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Boatwright Memorial Library

Finding Books in Boatwright Library

OneSearch on the library homepage is a good way to start your research.  After entering a search term, you will see results that include articles, books, electronic books and resources, and newspaper articles.  Options on the left side will help you refine your results via several different parameters, including type, subject, location, and date.  However, you might want to try other, more specific, search options as well. 

To search for books that are available here in Boatwright, use the Library Catalog tab and narrow to “Books & More” or “Campus Libraries,” where you can also focus on a specific UR library.  Start with a keyword search or "all words" using terms related to your topic. When you have found one or two relevant books, examine their subjects headings to help guide further searching. You can also add descriptive terms such as "politics and government" or "newspapers" for more specific searching.  If you need help understanding call numbers, this video will help!

To search for journal articles, use the "Articles" tab on the library homepage.  The default search includes scholarly articles in English, and you can use the filters on the left side of the page to help refine the search results by type, date, language, etc.

If you are looking for information on a person, you should first use that person's name in a keyword search.  However, many books will have information on persons that is not evident from the information in the catalog.  To find these books, you should use the browsing guide on the left and scan the tables of contents and indexes of books in the appropriate call number area.

If you are looking for Primary Sources, try including the word "source" or "sources" in your keyword or subject search to so search fo printed/published primary sources. Digitized archival materials and primary sources are available through a number of databases; see the Course Guide tab for suggested relevant databases.   For Newspaper or Article information, see that LibGuide tab for more information.

You can search by book Title, Author, All words or Subject heading.

Tips for Library Research in History

1.   History Research should begin at the library web site found at and follow the link to Research Guides by Subject/Major.  Choose History and then choose the Course-Specific Guides or individual databases and web sites appropriate to your topic.  You can access other subject areas, e.g., Art, Anthropology, Literature, Political Science, Women studies etc, when appropriate to your research.


2.   Catalogs, like the UR Library Catalog and WorldCat, are useful for finding books, primary sources, bibliographies, and reference works.  To find journal or newspaper articles you will need to use online indexes and fulltext databases.

   A good book or journal article can be a bridge to more research sources if it has footnotes or a bibliography.  When looking for books, be sure to browse the shelves around the book you are looking for in the collection.  Often you will find other books related to your topic are nearby!


4.  Where available, use the subject heading features in the library catalog and databases to discover other similar headings used, because the same topic may have been assigned different subject headings over time.


5.   Keep in mind that many useful resources, and not just primary sources are print works in addition to electronic  and internet resources.  The Research Guides by Subject/Major library web page, focus primarily on electronic resources.  The UR Library Catalog and WorldCat (for Interlibrary Loan only) are your best sources for books. 


6.  If you can’t find what you need, please call or email your History Liaison librarian, Lynda Kachurek at 289-8458 or You can also schedule an appointment using the button on the front page of this LibGuide.  Don't forget that librarians are available to assit you in-person and via email, text, and chat by using the links on the library homepage.  


Other ways to Identify Books

You can also find relevant books by using Worldcat, a large national catalog of books; by searching Google Books or Google Scholar; and by searching our Ebsco E-book Database.

Think Like A Historian

Book Review Guide