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Library building hours and access are limited at this time. Services and support are being provided remotely. See COVID-19 library updates.
Searches the books, e-books, journals, government documents, and other physical and digital items owned by the library. Individual journal articles are not retrieved by the search. Can be used to find both primary and secondary sources.
A combined search of the library's books, journal articles, databases, and more. Searches Orbis as well as Morris, which is the Law Library catalog. Consider this a Google-like search of a vast amount of resources, but keep in mind some library materials are not indexed by the search. The search refinements and availability of multiple search fields are key to limiting the usually large number of results and finding the most relevant sources.
An engaging introduction to what primary sources are, how to find them, and what some of the major primary source collections are at the Yale University Library. Provides an excellent overview.
Hathi Trust Emergency Temporary Access Service
Hathi Trust’s Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) provides online access to in-copyright books in the Yale Library collection. Catalog records for ETAS items can be found through Quicksearch and Orbis. If you’re already using the Yale VPN, you can click on the “Log In” link at the top of any Hathi Trust page and select Yale from the drop-down menu (if you access Hathi Trust without using the VPN, you will initially receive a prompt to use Duo Multi-Factor Authentication in order to access the database first).
A short video on the Hathi Trust ETAS can be found here, and a library guide here.
Catalog records for e-books from the Internet Archive can be found through Orbis and Quicksearch. The Internet Archive is currently making books in its collection available to one borrower at a time. To use the Internet Archive, borrowers will need to create an Internet Archive account.
Scan and Deliver & Interlibrary Loan
The library now offers limited Scan & Deliver service. However, turnaround time for these services may be significantly delayed, and the fulfillment of Interlibrary Loan scan requests is dependent on our partner libraries. We ask that you prioritize requesting items that are the most urgent for your research. At this time, BorrowDirect and physical interlibrary loan services are suspended until further notice.
Background or "reference" sources are a great place to start your research. Reference works include bibliographies, scholarly encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and other sources that provide overviews of topics and suggestions for further reading; often they cite not only the secondary literature, but also primary sources.
Oxford Bibliographies offers peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies on specific topics across varied subject areas. Each of these features an introduction to the topic. Bibliographies are browseable by subject area and keyword searchable. Examples of articles include "New African Diaspora" by Heike Raphael-Hernandez (African American Studies module) and "Critical Media Theory" by Kevin Glynn (Cinema and Media Studies module).
Bibliographic databases are helpful for finding secondary sources, especially scholarly/peer-reviewed journal articles, magazine articles, book reviews, and citations to book chapters and edited collections of books. Please note: the full text of articles will not always be available in these databases. If you see the "YaleLinks" icon instead of a PDF, click on the icon to discover whether we have online access to the article.
Indexes film and television periodicals. The periodicals are both scholarly and popular. Contains citations to articles, film reviews and book reviews published between 1976-2001. Citations are searchable by subject headings, browsable by personal names, production titles, or corporate names.
IIBP Full Text includes bibliographic citations and abstracts from scholarly and popular journals, newspapers and newsletters from the United States, Africa and the Caribbean. It also includes full-text coverage of core Black studies periodicals (1998 to present). Coverage is international and multidisciplinary in scope, spanning cultural, economic, historical, religious, social, and political issues relevant to the Black studies discipline.
Focuses on African American communities in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, towns and cities in North Carolina, and St. Louis largely during the second half of the 20th century. Materials include pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals, correspondence, official records, oral histories, maps, and photographs.
Brings together 54 collections of primary sources for the historical study of sex, sexuality, and gender. Access via Yale Library to collections in the following three broad archives:
- LGBTQ History and Culture Since 1940, Part I
- LGBTQ History and Culture Since 1940, Part II
- Sex and Sexuality, Sixteenth to Twentieth Century
Click on the "Collections" link in the navigation bar for an overview of all 54 collections.
Provides access to 205 digitized manuscript collections. Click on the "Collections" link for an overview. Filter by "Topic" in order to browse the subject areas that are covered. Please note: the archival finding aids and other original archival descriptions are often not included in these collections, so this can be a challenging database to use. Please reach out for assistance if any of the collections are of interest or relevant to your research.
A set of 52 collections spanning the 17th to 20th c. Includes manuscripts, rare books and monographs, newspapers, periodicals, census records, legal documents, maps, drawings and sketches, oral histories, photos, and videos. Click on the "Collections" link in the navigation bar for an overview of all 52 collections.
Provides access to primary source, cross-searchable, full-text, full-image documents relating to 19th and 20th-century U.S. history. Collections are organized into the following modules:
- Civil Rights and the Black Freedom Struggle: Includes Mary McLeod Bethune's scrapbooks (29 vols.), which can be found within the Mary McLeod Bethune Papers: The Bethune Foundation Collection, Part 1
- Southern Life, Slavery, and the Civil War
- American Indians and the American West
- American Politics and Society
- International Relations and Military Conflicts
A collection of several sets of news sources, newspapers, and journals -- contemporary and historical. Includes:
- Ethnic NewsWatch
- Latin American Newsstream
- ProQuest Civil War Era
- ProQuest Historical Newspapers
- ProQuest Recent Newspapers
- U.S. Hispanic Newsstream
- U.S. Major Dailies (1980 to present, updated daily)
Focuses on the liberation struggles in Southern Africa, with an emphasis on Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The contents of the collection document colonial rule, dispersion of exiles, international intervention, and the worldwide networks that supported successive generations of resistance within the region. Included are periodicals, nationalist publications, records of colonial government commissions, local newspaper reports, personal papers, correspondence, UN documents, out-of-print and other relevant books, oral histories, and speeches.
Archival materials documenting the evolution of feminism throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and women’s political activism in areas such as suffrage, birth control, pacifism, civil rights, and socialism. Click on the "Collections" link for an overview of 15 collections.
Organized around the history of women in social movements in the U.S. between 1600 and 2000, this collection includes 124 document projects and archives with more than 5,100 documents and 175,000 pages of additional full-text documents, written by 2,800 primary authors.