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Tools and Guides

Close up of a classic card catalog previously used as a research finding aid.

The University Libraries provide access to millions of books, thousands of journals, and hundreds of databases. We understand that knowing where to begin your search may be overwhelming. Below are brief descriptions of the many places you can begin your search.

Make sure the wireless network is set to “wustl-encrypted-2.0” when accessing databases while on campus.

Library Tools and Guides

  • A-Z Databases | WashU Libraries subscribe to over a thousand databases (PsycInfo, Statista, JSTOR, etc.) that allow researchers to access electronic resources like journals, articles, and books. Researchers can narrow their search down by subject or search for a known database.
  • ArchivesSpace | Search and locate materials across all collecting areas in the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections: Dowd Illustration Research Archive, Film and Media Archive, Local History, Manuscripts, Rare Books, and University Archives.
  • Citation Resources | These resources allow researchers to reverse-search citations to locate journal articles. Also included is the WashU Libraries subscription to the ninth edition of the Modern Language Association (MLA) Handbook, which offers student writers and writing instructors guidance on creating citation entries or works cited lists.
  • Classic Catalog | The Classic Catalog includes records for books, journals, newspapers, conference proceedings, government documents, microforms, and video and audio recordings in WashU Libraries’ collections and Washington University Medical School’s Becker Library collection.
  • eJournals & eBooks | Search for electronic resources that include books, chapters, journals, and articles.
  • Google Scholar | Google Scholar provides a simple way to search for scholarly literature broadly. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts, and court opinions from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and other websites.
  • New Acquisitions | The new book feed features new acquisitions during the past 15 days. Users can filter and refine their search results within the acquisitions feed.
  • Open Scholarship | A repository that provides free and open access to the scholarly output of the University community by gathering it in one place. It includes article reprints, journals, books, student projects, conference sites, and theses and dissertations.
  • Quick Search | Quick Search (formerly Primo) provides one-stop access to the WashU Libraries’ collections by searching hundreds of catalogs, indexes, and databases. Quick Search is a great place to begin your research because it searches multiple library resources through one interface.
  • Research Guides | Research Guides are carefully curated to provide research assistance about specific subject areas and specific courses. These guides contain useful resources that have been compiled by your friendly Washington University Librarians.

Interlibrary Loan Search Tools

  • Interlibrary Loan | Interlibrary Loan (ILL) allows Washington University students, faculty, and staff to obtain materials that the WashU Libraries does not own. Log into ILLiad to submit a request.
  • MOBIUS | If the WashU Libraries does not own a resource you need, you may be able to request it from another library. Use MOBIUS to search and request items from other Missouri libraries.
  • WorldCat | WorldCat is a catalog of materials held by libraries worldwide. It includes periodicals, sound recordings, musical scores, videos, manuscripts, and maps, in addition to print materials. You can also submit an interlibrary loan request via WorldCat.

Contact Us

Remember, you can always contact the WashU Libraries for one-on-one help. If you need more assistance with your research, we can help you:

  • Develop an effective time-saving search strategy for a research paper or project
  • Locate books, journal and newspaper articles, and other resources on your topic
  • Locate sources that will help you evaluate the information you have found

Ask Your Subject Librarian

Need help searching for an article or book? Reach out to your subject librarian for assistance.

subject librarians

Off-Campus Access

Log in with your WUSTL key and password in order to gain free access to our resources.

Off-campus access

Research Guides

Check out subject and course-related guides with resources you can use, all curated by our subject librarians.

Research guides