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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Islamic Gardens and Architecture: Databases


The purpose of this guide is to provide fast answers to frequently asked questions about composing queries for database searches. Questions like:

  • What symbol does this database use for truncating search terms?
  • How do I search for an exact phrase in this database?
  • What Boolean operators are allowed?

Designed for quick consultation, each section is laid out as a simple table, written in a terse prose style, and formatted for easy printing (click "Print This Page" on the right of the screen). 

The guide is organized by interface. Sometimes, a database has its own interface (e.g. JSTOR), but more commonly a single interface provides access to multiple database titles.

Starting Databases

The UIUC Library has access to hundreds of online databases and online catalogs comprising everything from specific interests to general subject searches.  

Databases are collections of computer records that have a common format and content, organized for rapid search and retrieval. The databases used in libraries for information retrieval most often locate individual articles and provide information about items contained in larger sources, such as periodicals (magazines, journals, and newspapers).

General Information about databases at UIUC can be found at the following links: 

  1. UGL - Types of Databases
  2. UGL - Compare Databases and Library Catalogs

Common databases available at UIUC are:

Search Online Journals & Databases for all the available online databases and journals. Or try Journal and Article Locator

Reference Tools:

Middle East & North Africa related databases

Below is a listing of some of the most prominent and well documented databases pertaining to the Middle East and North Africa.  

* indicates that that database is free and open to the public. The rest of the databases require affiliation with UIUC

More information can be found at the Middle East and North Africa Studies Library and on the MENA Library's database page. The database page offers brief descriptions of the various databases listed above.

Information on the following subjects can be found on the website:

  • Online News Sources
  • Reference E-Resources
  • Country Specific E-Resources
  • Islamic History Sourcebook
  • Religion & Culture