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Prof. Bisaha's courses: A research guide to Medieval and Renaissance History

Prof. Bisaha's courses: A research guide to Medieval and Renaissance History

BOOKS - Nothing Replaces Browsing the Library Shelves

When you find a good book - look around the shelves in that area for more. You are guaranteed to find something browsing you miss keyword searching the catalog. Explore tables of contents and indexes in books that catch your eye

Try these approaches to library catalog searching

Texts in translation published as books are your key primary sources.   

Look up primary sources mentioned in the footnotes and bibliographies of your secondary sources and reference books

Recent studies in scholarly journals will cite the most current translations of primary sources

If there is a work cited in a language you don't read, search WorldCat by author for a recent translation (then use ILL)

If Vassar library doesn't have the book you need, use WorldCat to request something through ILLiad



Center for Research Libraries has an extensive collection of unique sources you may borrow through InterLibrary Loan

  • Look up specific sources mentioned in references in CRL.
  • Include OCLC number on your ILL request
  • Search CRL for Subject Headings on your topic, it can be more effective than keyword searching there.

Course Reserves

Use books your professor has on  Course Reserve for your class.  They often inlcude books other than assigned readings that your professor recommends for your research projects.

Online Sources

Web sources usually only present excerpts of a work. These are great sites to explore, but look up the full version of the source in the library catalog.

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