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ENGL 4290: Topics in Medieval Literature (Camp): Doing Research

Artists' Books

Researching artists' books? See our dedicated guide:

General Search Tips

Books in the GIL Find catalog are tagged with standardized keywords called the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Relevant general search terms include:

  • Books - History
  • Printing - History
  • Books and reading - History
  • Textual history [may be searched along with an author or book like Bible]
  • Early printed books
  • Manuscripts,  medieval
  • Codicology
  • Type and type-founding
  • Graphic design (typography)
  • Bookbinding
  • Bible - publication and distribution

Any of these can be searched along with a country, geographic region, or time period.

Browsing is also an excellent way to serendipitously happen upon a good book. Most books on book history and technology are on the second floor of the Main Library between call numbers Z4 - Z276; books on reading and the cultural history of print begin around Z1001. Don't miss the "Folio" Z section closer to the windows -- it has oversized books that often feature photos and images.

Specific topics in manuscript and book history will be shelved with that subject area: Chaucer with English literature, Bible histories with religion, illuminated manuscripts with art, etc.

Interlibrary Loan

Besides GIL Express, which gets hard copy books from University System of Georgia Libraries, you can request books and PDFs of articles or chapters for free through the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service. Make the request through their form. More details are on the Interlibrary Loan FAQ.

Database Search Tips

Database Search Tips

  • Use the asterisk as truncation/wildcard at the end of a term: abolitionis* or imperialis*
  • Use OR in between synonyms: abolitionis* OR antislavery
  • Some databases like Multi-Search account for British/American spelling differences like labor or labour; others like JSTOR do not.
  • Titles translated into English may also appear in the original language; watch out for modernized or transliterated names or titles, e.g. Bhagavad Gita may be written Bhagavadgita.
  • To search through the full text of articles and ebooks in Multi-Search, go to Advanced Search and choose "Also search within the full text."


GIL-Find: GIL-Find is the UGA Libraries' catalog for locating books, ebooks, films, and music in the Main Library, Science Library, Special Collections, and other campus libraries except Law.

  • Request print books from other libraries in the University System of Georgia (see GIL Express instructions). 
  • Request books from UGA's collections and pick them up at any campus library see Book Retrieval instructions).
  • Check books out for 28 days (undergraduates) or 125 days (graduate students), and they will be renewed automatically twice if nobody else has placed a hold on them. See what you have checked out in your account.

Google Books and HathiTrust: Although not traditional library catalogs, Google Books and HathiTrust digitize book collections in a number of major university libraries. Both are useful in mining the contents of books on library shelves. Some of the books are out of copyright and may be read online. Others are still within copyright and can only be viewed in snippets, but you can still search for keywords within them then find the actual book searching GIL-Find. 

Articles & Primary Sources

Scholarly (Academic) Sources

Multi-Search is a combined search of around 130 GALILEO databases with interdisciplinary coverage of articles and books. It also includes non-scholarly sources like newspapers, so use the filters to limit to academic journals, books, and ebooks. Searching a more focused database such as the ones below can be simpler since they are limited to works from a specific area of study.

Specialized Sources: Provide in-depth research in specific fields or types of publications. An asterisk indicates a database included in Multi-Search.

JSTOR and Project Muse are collections of full-text scholarly journals that let you search through the articles themselves. 

Medieval and Early Modern Bibliographies

ATLA Religion Database*

MLA International Bibliography* (literary and language studies)

America: History & Life* (North American history)

Historical Abstracts* (History beyond North America)

WorldCat is an enormous catalog of books and other materials held in libraries worldwide. Many items in WorldCat can be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan.

Primary Sources: Scanned images of publications including books, sermons, pamphlets, and periodicals from rare book collections worldwide.

Early English Books Online, 1473-1700 and Eighteenth Century Collections Online

Early American Imprints 1639-1800 and Early American Imprints 1801-1819

Sabin Americana 1500-1926

ArtSTOR: High-resolution images of artwork, including illuminated manuscripts, from museums.

Selected E-Books

Your Librarian

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Kristin Nielsen
Main Library Research & Instruction Department

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