Librarians and scholars may use the term "reference book" differently. Encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, and periodical indexes are traditionally placed in library reference rooms and can't be checked out so that they're available for on site consultation. Researchers increasingly expect to find this kind of information online. RUL often acquires online variants, but licenses are expensive.
Most books in Alex Reference can be checked out, and older reference books may often be found in Stacks. The scholar's definition of "reference book" often includes authoritative monographs and standard works outside of the library definition provided above. The Cambridge Histories series fit both groups' definition, and we have many of the component volumes in print reference collections and also online.
The catalogs listed below provide access to library resources beyond Rutgers University.
EZ-Borrow searches the catalogs of dozens of libraries in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and allows you to place your own interlibrary loan requests from those libraries. This is often faster than regular interlibrary loan, normally three to five working days. EZ-Borrow will also allow you to request books that Rutgers Libraries own, but are checked out.
This tool works like EZ-Borrow, but for the libraries of the Big Ten Academic Alliance. Search here for books not in EZ-Borrow.
A catalog of the holdings of all libraries in the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), the largest library consortium in North America. Over 280 million titles from across the United States and beyond. Titles not held by Rutgers Libraries may be requested through interlibrary loan.
Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog (KVK)
The KVK allows you to search many library catalogs simultaneously including regional and union catalogs in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, as well as most of the European national libraries and others around the world. Often better than WorldCat for newer publications.
Center for Research Libraries (CRL)
CRL in Chicago uses dues from member libraries like Rutgers to purchase special materials like foreign dissertations and microfilm holdings of newspapers and manuscripts. Rutgers staff, students and faculty are eligible for long-term interlibrary loans from CRL collections.
HathiTrust Digital Library: Online full text of over 17 million items, mostly books, of which more than 5 million are freely available, while the others have full text searching with limited viewing. HathiTrust ETAS provides additional access during the pandemic.
ECCO: Eighteenth Century Collections Online. Books published in English, 1701-1800.
ACLS Humanities E-Book: Thousands of important current and older monographs in English.
Select AHA guides to historical literature in ACLS Humanities E-Book to search in the text of these annotated bibliographies:
The American Historical Association's guide to historical literature / general editor, Mary Beth Norton ; associate editor, Pamela Gerardi. 3rd ed. New York : Oxford University Press, 1995. Alexander Reference D20.A64 1995 v.1-2
American Historical Association. Guide to historical literature. Board of editors: George Frederich Howe, chairman [and others] assisted by section editors, a central editor and others. [2nd ed.] New York: Macmillan, 1961. Alexander Reference Z6201.A64 1961
American Historical Association. A guide to historical literature, edited by William Henry Allison, Sidney Bradshaw Fay, Augustus Hunt Shearer, and Henry Robinson Shipman. [1st ed.] New York: Macmillan Co., 1931. Alexander Reference Z6201.G946
The online catalogs identified in the box to the left cover a growing percentage of the bibliographic universe, but roughly 25% of the titles in the National Union Catalog (NUC) are not in WorldCat (yet they can still be requested via interlibrary loan).
The National Union Catalog, pre-1956 Imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1981. 754 volumes. All volumes are available in Hathi Trust via this link.
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