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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Medieval and Renaissance Studies: Finding Books

A guide to library resources for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Finding Books

Image result for medieval book open

Step One: UIUC Online Library Catalog

There are two ways to search the UIUC Library catalog. Both offer the same content but the method of searching and presentation of results varies.

  1. Through the new VU Find Catalog. This catalog requires you to register with a login and a password. It also lets you search books in I-share (see below for more details.)
  2. Through the Classic Search. This interface lets you search only the UIUC catalog. It does have the advantage of letting you search by subject headings. (see side box).

Getting the actual book: When you locate your item you have two choices.

Print books

You can request the item and pick it up at any of the departmental libraries. Or, you can retrieve the book yourself from either the main stacks or the departmental library where the book is located. If you choose this option, make sure you jot down the location and call number of the item.

Electronic Books

Access will depend on the publisher. In some case you will be able to download full books via PDF. In others you might be able only to view the book online. In all cases the Library follow the publisher's requirements.

What if my book is not in the UIUC Online Library Catalog?

Step Two: I-Share

Once you have verified that the book you are looking for is either not located in the UIUC catalog or all copies are checked out, you may order it through VU Find Catalog. Items typically arrive within 5-10 days and you will receive an email when the item is available for pick up.

What if my book is not available in I-Share?

Step Three: Interlibrary Loan

If the item is not available in the Illinois catalog and it is not available through I-Share, then your next stop will be Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery. First, keep your full citation handy -- you'll need it. Second, login to the ILLiad server using your NetID and password. From the ILLiad main menu, select "Request a Book." Be sure to fill out as much of the form as possible, including the source of your citation. This will ensure that ILL can place your request in a timely manner. You'll be notified by email when your item is ready to be picked up.

WorldCat -You can search WorldCat to find books on your topic, which might not be in the UIUC nor the I-share catalog. Once you find a title of interest, you can order it through Interlibrary Loan

Subject Headings


Finding books on a topic is easy with subject searching. Use the Library's Online Catalog. In the Search For box, type a  subject headings and choose the Subject option. Subject searches use Library of Congress subject headings and thus are always in English. For related subject terms, scroll through the list of results.

Examples:

Medieval History
Middle Ages

Middle Ages - Sources


Tip--to find subject headings, do a keyword search in the Online Catalog. using terms relating to your topic. Find a result that fit your research and consult the subject headings.

See the Individual Subject pages for relevant Subject Headings.

Dissertations