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Western Intellectual History

Finding Books

Search Omni to find books, journals, videos and other materials owned by the Library.  You can search by keywords, author, title or subject headings.
To find a specific known item, search by title or author.  To find books on a topic, either try a subject or keyword search.

Subject Headings vs Keyword Searching

Subject headings allow you to search for resources on a particular author or topic and are often more productive than keyword searches. 

Keyword searches work best if you have multiple concepts or topics and need only a few books. 

For a comprehensive subject search, search with subject headings as well as keywords.

Searching Omni

Start with a keyword search, but expect to revise it. 

Keyword Searching TIPS


Search Technique  

What It Does

quotation marks

Searches for exact phrase

Truncation *

Searches for all forms of a word

Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)

Lets you broaden or narrow your search

To find books by a particular author/person, search Omni by author:
locke john
marx karl
To find books about a particular author/person, search Omni by subject heading:
locke john
marx karl
To find books on a topic, use a keyword search if you do not know the correct subject heading for a topic. Think of the focus (or key) words that describe your topic.
"industrial revolution" AND germany
Select useful titles and look at the full record for subject headings.
Industrial revolution--Europe
Economic history--1750-1918
Working class--Germany--History--19th century
Examples of subject headings relating to intellectual history:
Church history--Modern period, 1500 -
Civilization, Classical
Civilization, Medieval
Middle Ages
Philosophy, Renaissance
Radicalism--Great Britain
Science--History-- Europe
For an overview of the historical period, you can search the following subject headings after the name of a country:
--Economic conditions
--Intellectual life
--Politics and government
--Social conditions
For example, if you want to find information on German intellectual thought in the nineteenth century, you could search:
Germany--Intellectual life--19th century
To find bibliographies on a topic, look for the subdivision bibliography following a subject heading.
civilization, western--history--bibliography
To find primary sources in the library, look for the subdivision sources following a subject heading.
civilization, western--history--sources

E-Book Packages

The Library subscribes to a number of e-book packages which can be accessed via Databases. Packages that are of interest to history students are:
Provides full-text access to major works in American, European and Middle Eastern history. Topics covered include many aspects of history plus archaeology, area studies, art, folklore, literature, music, philosophy, political science, religion, and women's studies. Records for these books should be in Omni.
Historical reference compendium allows access to the texts of the Cambridge Histories series. Search or browse by topic. Relevant for undergraduates, graduates, lecturers and researchers.
Blackwell "Companions"
Blackwell publishes a series of books of historiographic essays on many topics in history. They are available online through Blackwell Reference Online.
A collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.
The Internet Archive and Open Library offers over 10,000,000 fully accessible books and texts. There is also a collection of 300,000 modern eBooks that may be borrowed or downloaded by the print-disabled at
offers full-text access to scholarly publishing in 20 subjects from around the world,
Provides access to electronic books (ebooks) from a wide variety of publishers.
UPSO includes titles from Oxford University Press and other partner presses.  QUL has access to selected titles, indicated by a green open lock icon on search results screens