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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.
Access to millions of digitized works and images from the Yale Library. This site is a living database, and new materials are added regularly.
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.
A large collection of annotated bibliographies, often with citations to both primary and secondary sources. Includes the article "Witchcraft in the Atlantic World" and other articles relating to witchcraft.
A scholarly encyclopedia, often really useful for a variety of U.S. history research topics. Each article has a discussion of the literature, including primary sources -- a great starting point for finding more sources. The articles are arranged into subfields such as Colonial History and Cultural History. Includes, for instance, the article, "The Salem Witch Trials."
A helpful resource for biographical information on prominent historical figures.
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!
Secondary Sources/Subject Databases
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 LifeProvides 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. 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.
Another potentially useful subject database for scholarly literature in religious studies is:
A search portal to archival finding aids from over 1000 institutions. Start here when you are seeking to discover if there are any relevant archival collections for your research beyond Yale. The "Summary View" option is a useful way to filter your search results. Researchers searching Archive Grid can learn about items from archival collections around the world, contact archives to arrange a visit to examine materials, and request copies. Open access resource/no login required.