If you are just beginning research for a project, the Easy Search tool on the MPAL homepage may help you find many of the resources you need to get started. Easy Search searches the UIUC library catalog, I-Share, dictionaries and encyclopedias, and other databases to find reference entries, books, scores, recordings, journal articles, and newspaper articles.
Easy Search is especially helpful for helping you decide which of the many tools it links to to focus on as you continue your search past the first phase.
To use this tool, type in the Keyword, Author, or Title of the material you are looking for. After clicking "search" you will be directed to a page with links to your results.
The first section on the results page lists matches for the item in the UIUC library catalog and also in I-Share libraries. Often the results are further limited by Scores, Recording, and Film/Video. The results also include if your search was found in eBooks (including Google Books and Hathi Trust) or on IDEALS - the UIUC dissertation depository.
The Easy Search also covers journals including RILM, IIMP, JSTOR, and IIPA. By clicking on the Article Matches, you will be directed to a list of the articles that contain the words you searched for.
Finally, this tool searches through newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the London Times. This can be very helpful if you are looking for concert reviews.
If you have trouble navigating the Easy Search, do not hesitate to ask a librarian.