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PHIL 210: Ancient Philosophy: Research Resources

Search Primo

What about books?

Scholarly books can also be excellent sources for locating background information or placing your topic in context with related issues. Search Collins Library Primo Search for titles. A sampling of potentially relevant books is listed below.

Reading a Call Number

Collins Library uses the Library of Congress classification scheme to organize books on the shelves. Follow these tips to find the book you need.

Example:

Hypatia biography call number

  • Start with the top line. It is in alphabetical order. Ex. B
  • The second line is a whole number.  Ex. 667
  • The third line is  a combination of a letter and numbers. Read the letter alphabetically. Read the number as a decimal, eg. Y.23, Y.34, Y.344, Y.4, etc. Ex. .H84 B66 (*Some call numbers have more than one combination letter-number line.)
  • The last line is the year the book was published. Read in chronological order. Ex. 2001, 2005, 2010, 2015, etc. Ex. 2017

Use the library location chart and map to find where the book is located.

Choosing the Best Databases

Selecting the best or most appropriate finding aid for identifying sources depends almost entirely on the context of your research assignment.  There is no single database or web search interface that will work for every research context; instead, you'll need to match your specific research needs to a variety of options.

Subject databases (i.e., Philosopher's Index) are the best choice for identifying the widest range of sources on a topic within a specific academic discipline. Recommended subject databases for each discipline can be found on the "articles" tab in each library subject guide.

Library catalog searches (i.e., Primo) can be the better choice when you are seeking in-depth, book-length treatments of a topic.

Multidisciplinary databases (i.e., JSTOR) can be the most appropriate choice when you just want to get a sense of what's available on a topic and when it isn't so important that you pay attention to disciplinary lenses.

Recommended Databases

Using Library Databases

Don't forget to prepare a list of related terms and concepts but BEFORE you begin searching! This will save you time a give you a sense of direction as you search.

When you construct your search, you'll want to connect synonyms with the Boolean operator "OR" and different concepts with the Boolean operator "AND."  You also can use truncation (the asterisk*) to find all forms and spellings of a word.

Always use the advanced search interface and some combination of the following techniques to increase the effectiveness of your searches:

Search Technique   What It Does
quotation marks Searches for exact phrase
Truncation (usually an *) Searches for all forms of a word
Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) Lets you broaden or narrow your search
Database thesaurus or index             Allows you to pinpoint the exact indexing terms the database uses

Finding Images

These sources contain material that is available under Creative CommonsPublic Domainor a Puget Sound license. ALWAYS read the small print to confirm that you can use this material for your project!

The Library of Congress provides a great overview of how to cite images and other primary source materials like paintings, photographs, and documents. Visit their site for instructions for using images in papers in Chicago, MLA, and APA format: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/citing.html

Need Help?

This subject guide highlights only a small portion of the many resources available to you.  If you're not finding what you need, don't hesitate to contact Katy!


Katherine "Katy" Curtis, Humanities Librarian
email: kcurtis@pugetsound.edu
Schedule an appointment
tel: (253) 879-3672
office:  Collins Library 140

If you can't find Katy, remember there are several ways to get help with your research

And don't forget about the Ask a Librarian 24/7 service: Anytime, anywhere! This instant messaging reference service lets you chat with a librarian no matter what time it is. Puget Sound librarians can email you to follow up if you leave your email address.