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* History

Sources for the study of history at the University of Rochester

Getting Started

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Finding books via the library's website

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Books are essential resources when conducting research in humanistic fields such as history and religion and classics.  The River Campus Libraries provide immediate access to over one million titles including both print and electronic books.  Need something not in UR's collection?  You can use interlibrary loan (a free service!) to get access to any titles that you need.

One of the best places to find books on your topic is through the library's website.  To get started, visit the library's homepage and choose "Library Catalog Only" from the dropdown box...or try out the search box below.

If you see a book of interest, click on the title to see more about the book including subject headings. Subject headings are essentially tags that are assigned to the books based on the overall theme and topic. You can click on these subject headings to find other books in the collection that have been tagged with the same topic (Show Me).

Books may be available as print books or e-books. For e-books, click on the book's title or "Available Online" to access the full-text through one of the library's databases. For print books, click on the book's title or for details and additional options (Show Me).

Assuming the book is available, you can then find the book in the stacks (based on the call number) and check it out at the Q&i Desk using your University of Rochester ID card. If you're not in a rush, you can also request that the item be brought to the Rush Rhees Q&i Desk for you to pick up. If the item is not available (e.g. "Out of library"), you can use the "Request" feature in our catalog to ask that the book be returned and held for you once it is available (Show Me).

Venturing into the stacks yourself to find a book can be a great way to expand your research. Books are organized by subject-based call numbers, so if you find one book on your topic chances are the books nearby will be relevant as well. The Rush Rhees stacks can seem overwhelming at first, but help is available! Either reach out to your librarian for help navigating the stacks or watch this short video tutorial.

Finding books via WorldCat

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WorldCat is an online catalog that searches library collections around the world. Using WorldCat can be a great way to find books in UR's collection, as well as titles available from other libraries. Search for your topic and look for the green "UNIV OF ROCHESTER" label to find items in our collection. Once you click on an item's title you should be able to see a "Search the catalog at University of Rochester Libraries" link to find where the book is in our collections (Show Me). Find something not in our collection? No problem! You can use the library's interlibrary loan to have the book sent to River Campus Libraries free of charge.

If you are short on time, you can limit your WorldCat search to items available through UR's library by choosing "Items in my library" and "Items in other U of R libraries" near the bottom of your search screen (Show Me). You can request that items from the Edward G. Miner Library or Sibley Music Library be sent to the Rush Rhees Q&i Desk by using the "Request" feature in UR's library catalog. (Show Me)

Finding E-books

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River Campus Libraries provides access to over one million e-books covering a large variety of disciplines and publishers. Because our e-books are available through different databases and websites, the easiest way to find an e-book in UR’s collection is to start on the library's homepage and choose "Library Catalog Only" from the dropdown box.

To narrow your search to e-books, choose the Available online, Books, and Book chapters filters from the options on the left-hand side of your results (Show Me)...or use the search box below.


The library also has several collections of e-books that are worth searching in for your topic. While books in these collections are pulled into all of our catalog searches, relevant titles can sometimes get buried within thousands of results. Try searching these databases directly for e-books on your topic: