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The main search tools for finding books, articles, databases, archival collections, and more at Yale (and beyond) can all be found on the "Find, Request, and Use" page of the library's website. Here are a few quick refreshers, but be sure to visit the page for a full overview:
Searches books, e-books, journals (but not individual articles), government documents, and other physical and digital items. It's the classic catalog of Yale Library *not* including items from the Law Library. Can be used to find both primary and secondary sources.
If your topic relates to legal history or potentially involves research in legal materials, be sure to include Morris in your search, or alternatively to use Books+ (which searches both Morris and Orbis).
A combined search of the library's books, journals and journal articles, licensed databases, digitized archival collections, and more. Searches Orbis as well as Morris, which is the Law Library catalog. A vast, Google-like search, but some library materials will still not be retrieved by it, and the advanced search refinements and options to use just one part of Quicksearch or another can be key to running efficient, manageable, and successful searches.
Within Quicksearch, Books+ will limit your search to the books (and reports and numerous other monographs, as opposed to journal articles) that are found across the Yale Libraries. Orbis + Morris (Law Library) collections are searched together.
The search portal for finding archival materials at Yale. Look for the Scope & Contents notes, inventories, and PDF Finding Aids to assess the relevance of materials to your research project. Also see the Guide to Using Special Collections at Yale University for more information on finding, requesting, and using archival materials in the Yale Library.
Background or "reference" sources are a great place to start your research and can be extremely useful, especially if you're venturing into a new research area for your project. They include bibliographies, scholarly encyclopedias, historical dictionaries, handbooks, and other works that provide overviews of topics and suggestions for finding both primary and secondary 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.
This is a great place to start for finding journal articles across disciplines -- a major multidisciplinary database.
In addition to a multidisciplinary database such as Academic Search Premier, subject-specific databases are a key resource for finding secondary literature, including the latest scholarly journal articles in the field, and the main subject databases for finding historical literature are:
America: History and Life:Provides historical coverage of the United States and Canada and indexes over 2000 historical journals. A key resource if you are searching for historical scholarship related to your research project.
Historical Abstracts: Provides historical coverage of the world, not including the United States and Canada, from the 15th century to the present. Indexes thousands of journals in multiple languages.
Searching these databases will allow you to check for the latest scholarly articles, reviews of books, citations to book chapters, and more in a wide array of historical journals.
And, don’t forget, the library catalog -- i.e., Orbis and Books+ -- is always a useful tool for locating secondary sources!
Get It @ Yale
Get It @ Yale brings together three services of the Yale Library that greatly facilitate research work: Borrow Direct, Interlibrary Loan, and Scan & Deliver. Borrow Direct will furnish rapid delivery of titles from a small group of partner libraries if the book isn't available at Yale. Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a larger library partnership that can provide scans of journal articles that aren't available at Yale as well as loans of physical items such as books and microforms. Scan & Deliver will fulfill requests to have journal articles, book chapters, and limited pages from microforms held in the Yale Library scanned by members of the library staff and provided to you electronically. All of the Get It @ Yale services help to make your research more efficient, so please don't hesitate to use them or to reach out with any questions about them as you work on your essay!