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American History Research Guide

QuickSearch to Find Books

QuickSearch is the search option at the top of the Libraries homepage. It searches both the Libraries collections and most (but not all) of the databases. You need to use QuickSearch to look for ebooks and/or print books. If you are searching by topic, there are two ways to limit your search to books. See the two boxes below.

If you are looking for a specific book, the simplest way is to type the title, or the first five or six words of the title, in "double quotes". If Rutgers has the book, it will appear at the top or very near the top of your search results. If Rutgers doesn't have the book, see Interlibrary Loan options below.

If you have any questions or run into any problems, my contact info is below the Related Guides tab.

QuickSearch: Searching and Limiting Your Search to Books

The basic search option from the Libraries homepage searches authors, titles, subjects, and abstracts and fulltext, if available, across most of the Libraries resources: books, scholarly articles, news sources, videos, etc.

How to build your basic search:
Use "double quotes" to search as a phrase
Use * to search for forms of a word: slave* searches slave, slaves, slavery, slaveholder, etc.,
Use AND, OR  (in caps) to combine terms:
- AND focuses a search: "united states" AND slave* is more specific, retrieves fewer items than just "united states"
- OR broadens a search: "united states" OR america* retrieves more items than "united states" alone
Use parentheses to combine AND, OR: history AND ("united states" OR america*) AND (slave* OR enslav*)

Once you've completed your search, you'll see on the left a number of ways that you can refine, filter your search result. One of them is Resource Type. Click that and select Books. This will limit to both ebooks and print books.

QuickSearch may often deliver a rather overwhelming search result. Check out the other filters to gain more control over your search. Subject and Creation Date, for example, can be very useful.

QuickSearch: Using Advanced Search to look for books, authors, etc.

From QuickSearch on the Libraries homepage, click Advanced Search on the right. Then, under Resource Type on the right, select Books.

As opposed to the default, the basic search, Advanced Search lets you search with more flexibility and precision by searching for words and/or phrases in specific "fields" (author, title, subject) in the records of the Libraries' books (or of a different Resource Type or across all of the types). For example, if you wanted to find books by George Marshall on the Second World War:
- On the first line: Author ... is (exact) ... marshall, george
- On the second line: Subject ... contains ... "world war, 1939-1945"

Rutgers Book Delivery

Books you find in QuickSearch can be delivered to the library of your choosing. Click the title in your search results to go to the full record, sign in (if you haven't already), then click Request Item.

Interlibrary Loan options

If the Rutgers book you want to borrow is checked out, the record in QuickSearch will say Not Available. Click the title to go to the full record, then click the EZBorrow tab. EZ-Borrow is a fast and easy way to borrow the book from a nearby university library. It usually takes three to five working days.

If you search for a book in QuickSearch and RU Libraries doesn't own it, the easiest way to request an interlibrary loan is to search in WorldCat. See Other Library Catalogs below.

Other Library Catalogs

Don't limit your research to just sources at Rutgers Libraries. The catalogs listed below provide access to library resources beyond Rutgers.

A worldwide catalog, many, many millions of records of books, journals, videos, etc. from libraries in over  170 countries. If you find a title that RU Libraries holds, there will be an RUL logo in the brief record; click the title to go to the full record, then click Get@R. If we don't have it and you want it, in the full record click Request Interlibrary Loan. 

Center for Research Libraries (CRL)
CRL is a special library that holds rare materials not often collected even by major research libraries. Rutgers Libraries is a member, and Rutgers researchers are eligible for long-term loans from their collections.

HathiTrust Digital Library
Bigger and better than Google Books. More titles, better search options. As of January 1, 2022, titles published before 1927 are usually available in full text. Click Log In in the upper right so that you can take full advantage of Rutgers membership, including creating and sharing personal collections.


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