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Library Quick Start Guide for Students

Welcome to the Claremont Colleges Library! Use this guide to get oriented and learn the basics of what the library has to offer.

Decide Which SUBJECTS Are Appropriate for Your Research

The Libraries subscribe to hundreds of databases. To make choosing appropriate databases easier, they have been grouped by subject (art, biology, psychology, etc.) and by type (almanacs, images, newspapers, etc.) on the databases page.

Here's what the beginning of those lists look like:

Often more than one subject will be relevant for your research. For example, if your topic focuses on music as an expression of culture, you might choose to look for information in both the Music subject list and the Sociology subject list. When your research topic is multi-disciplinary, your research will be most successful--that is you will find the most relevant articles--if you do not limit your searching to just one subject.

Decide Which DATABASES Are Appropriate for Your Research

In each subject list you will find many databases appropriate for research in that subject. For each database, you will see a brief description and a link to "more info" which gives additional informtion about the database. In most lists, the most important database or databases will be listed first, often in a section called Major Databases; "other" or "related" databases will be listed farther down on the web page. Read through the list of database descriptions to see which ones are most appropriate. For example, look for databases that mention articles.

The database lists below are from the subject list for International Relations:

Click on the database name (PAIS, Left Index, etc.) to connect.

Most databases index scholarly, or academic, content--sometimes just articles; often books, book chapters, conference proceedings, and dissertations are also indexed by scholarly databases.

If you are looking for articles in popular magazines like Newsweek, National Geographic, or Sports Illustrated, use a general database: Academic Search Premier (EBSCO) or OmniFile (WilsonWeb).