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English Studies

A research guide for English Studies from West Chester University Libraries

Introduction to books

As an English Studies major, you have to use books for research.  They area a huge part of scholarly production in both English Studies and all the humanities disciplines.  This page will share two ways to find relevant books while researching.

  • through the library catalog
  • outside of the library

Through the library catalog

Both our huge ebook collections and our print collections can be searched together in our library catalog. While you will also find books using our Library Search tool, the catalog (tab right next to Library Search) is a much cleaner search.

Library catalog search box

 

Videos on using the catalog

Below you will find a short introductory video on using the catalog embedded.

Two additional videos that may be helpful:

Introduction to the catalog

From outside WCU Libraries

It never hurts to search for books that don't appear in the WCU library systems.  Here are a number of different choices.  If you find a book we don't own, use the EZBorrow system to request it from another library.

  • Google books
    • pros: familiar interface; best for book previews; often has full text of pre-1923 books (out of copyright); links to Worldcat (Find in a Library feature)
    • cons:  does not use subject headings; lots of non-scholarly books show up
  • Worldcat.org
    • pros:  really large catalog of catalogs, including tons of older books; easy to see how widely held a book is; uses subject headings
    • cons:  the search interface is kind of terrible; often multiple, slightly different entries for a book or for different editions of  a book
  • Amazon.com
    • pros:  familiar interface; will often give book previews/show table of contents
    • cons:  has an advanced search, but it isn't that good; does not use subject heading; lots of non-scholarly books show up
  • Catalog of another university.  Most academic libraries still allow their catalogs to be searched by anyone.  So you can take a subject heading you found in the WCU catalog and try it in the catalog of a bigger and/or wealthier university (Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, UC-Berkele, etc.).
    • pros:  subject heading searching; less messy than WorldCat
    • cons:  unfamiliar interface, no way to quick check if WCU libraries own the book.
West Chester University   ---    WCU Libraries  25 West Rosedale Avenue, West Chester, PA 19383  610-430-4400