The online catalog is best for finding books held by the University Library or I-Share Libraries.
You can also request a book through the catalog by clicking "Get It" in the catalog record. Please see the University Library's COVID-19 Response page for up-to-date protocols.
Why bother with subject headings in the online catalog when you can do keyword searching?
It’s true that you can find sources on a topic by doing keyword searches. But if you limit yourself to keyword searching, you are likely to miss important material on your topic that uses other terms. If you only need two or three books, you can probably find what you need by doing keyword searches, but if you are doing historical research, you can’t afford to miss critical material on your topic. For a comprehensive subject search, search with subject headings as well as keywords.
Quick Tip: A good way to identify subject headings for a topic is to do a keyword search in the online catalog using terms you think describe the topic and try to identify a few relevant books. Look at the full record for those books to see what subject headings were used, then do another search on those headings.
As a rule of thumb, use fairly broad headings, as well as the specific ones that describe your topic, in order to make sure you haven't inadvertently eliminated relevant material that is contained within works of larger scope. Most likely you will find multiple headings to describe your topic, and you should use all of them. You can narrow your search in the online catalog by combining subject headings (as a phrase) with keywords, using the “Advanced Search” option.
Examples of Subject Headings (Associated with Two Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity):
You are welcome to contact us to request purchase of individual ebook titles.
Almost 5,000 book-length works of scholarship in the humanities, with an emphasis on history. Works selected by scholars.
Hundreds of history, philosophy, and religious studies titles added to our collection of Cambridge Core ebooks. We don't have access to every book in Cambridge Core, but there are records in the Library Catalog for all the ebooks from this collection that we do own. Titles were selected using "turn-away data," which are records of failed attempts to access an ebook that the Library does not own.
Over 300 volumes from the Cambridge History of... series. Volumes are full-text searchable. Chapters display as PDF facsimiles of the print originals. Both book level and chapter level citations are easily exportable to Zotero and ten other citation management software tools.
EBSCOhost eBook Collection is a general collection covering a variety of subject areas, from fiction to academic works.
Allows our patrons to "check out" copies of ebooks if we have print copies of the book in our collection.
Waitlists have been suspended on the 1.4 million books in the Internet Archive Lending Library. These are books that are not in the public domain, and that formerly had to be virtually "checked out", and the borrower had "to return" the book before the next person on the waitlist could use it. Learn more in the official announcement.
Over 40,000 scholarly ebooks books. We do not have access to every ebook in the collection (which in total has over 75,000). NOTE: JSTOR is providing expanded access during the COVID-19 shutdown--see their announcement for more information.
Over 22,000 scholarly ebooks. As with JSTOR Books, not every title listed in the collection (almost 60,000) is owned by University of Illinois. NOTE: Project MUSE is providing expanded access during the COVID-19 shutdown--see Project Muse's announcement for more information.
ProQuest has expanded access to our ebook collections by removing the limits on number of simultaneous users. Visit this link to see a subject guide to the our ProQuest Ebook Central ebooks.
General guide to finding ebooks (for all disciplines) at the University Library.
There are several major collections of full-text electronic journals. In these databases you can browse individual issues of journals, or you can do a search across the entire database.
Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery will obtain materials not available in the Illinois Library system. This includes items that are checked out, lost or missing.