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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 in building your bibliographies. These are scholarly encyclopedias, handbooks, bibliographies, and similar sources that will often contain lengthy essays with background information on a topic and overviews of the relevant scholarship. Citations to the secondary literature will always be included, and often so too will citations to primary sources.
This and other Oxford Handbooks are useful sources for getting started on research projects. You will find informative overviews on topics and helpful lists of suggestions for further reading in each chapter.
This is a large collection of bibliographic “articles,” each containing numerous bibliographic annotations, often of both primary and secondary sources.
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.
Additional subject databases for finding scholarly literature that may be helpful are:
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.