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Brief Guide to Research for Philosophy: Finding Books

Use Catalogs to Find Books

Two catalogs are recommended: one the University at Albany Libraries' catalog that provides access to titles in the Libraries and is accessible through the Primo Discovery Service; and, two, WorldCat, which is an extensive catalog-of-catalogs and provides access to important titles not owned by the University Libraries, but easily obtained via Interlibrary Loan(ILL).

  • Primo Discovery Service The Library’s catalog is an excellent resource for finding literary criticism. Following are some suggestions for using the catalog:
    • keyword search both subject and title seperately in "advanced search". Frequently, both searches will contain the same list of items, but sometimes an important title will appear in one search but not the other.  For example, if your topic is women and medieval metaphysics, possible search terms might be:
      • women and metaphysics
      • women and philosophy
      • medieval and philosophy
    • search related works. When you display a record, open the full record and examine the links listed under "Subject” these will take you to related works.For example: If you can click on and find other books related to these subjects.
      • Doing a title search "women and philosophy", you will find the book Thinking woman: a philosophical approach to the quandary of gender by Jennifer Hockenbery Dragseth. Opening the full record, you will find the subject headings: Gender Identity -- Philosophy, Sex Role -- Philosophy, Women Philosophers.
  • WorldCat: Accessible to University at Albany users only. This is an extensive collection of resources that are available through Interlibrary Loan. Use the same search strategies mentioned above (Note: searching on "women and medieval and philosophy" in this catalog actually returns a large number of records).
      If you have an ILL account set up, just click on the link Request Item and follow the instruction; all of the citation information will auto-fill your request. Remember to start early, requested books can take up to a week to arrive.
  • E-books: To find e-books go to the Database Finder E-Book Page.