Welcome to the Liberal Arts Subject Guide
Use this guide to help you make the most of the library and information resources and services.
Search across the print and online collections for books, chapters, articles, journals and lots more.
For more in depth research in databases and archives, use the A-Z Databases List.
Research databases index the global literature and provide references to journal articles, books, conference proceedings, reports etc that match your search criteria.
These are key databases for the Liberal Arts. They are multi-disciplinary in nature, covering a wide range of subjects, themes and disciplines.
Additional databases can be found via the A-Z Databases list.
Box of Broadcasts (BoB) is an extensive archive of free-to-air TV programmes and radio shows
Humanities Index is an international bibliographic index of scholarly research
across the humanities. Records include journals, reports, newspapers, conference reports and other content from 1962 onwards.
Archaeology, Current Affairs, Education, Economic, Environment, Gender Studies, History, Law, Political Science, Religion
Find out more here.
NOTE: As a bibliographic index, this database contains records of scholarly material, not necessarily the full text content itself (although many records are linked to full-text).
The video below shows how to search EBSCO databases such as Humanities International Complete:
Watch the video to find out more about IBSS
Use the IBSS LibGuide for guidance and search tips
JSTOR provides access to scholarly book, journal and primary sources via an easy to use search interface.
JSTOR holds content across the social sciences.
This video shows you how to use JSTOR ebooks.
The quick reference guide will provide you with a brief overview of the service. The video below provides some great tips on how to improve your searching.
You can browse by subject e.g. Liberal Arts or type (e.g.maps, news, images etc.) or search to find your required resource.
Explore the full A to Z Database list:
The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum is located on the Streatham Campus and contains a wealth of moving image memorabilia from the 17th century to the present and is an important collection relating to the history of film and and moving image.
Click here to find out about the collections, visiting and more.
Library Hub Discover - Search the catalogues of over 100 major UK and Irish national, academic and specialist libraries to find books, journals and other materials
WorldCAT - Search the collections of over 10,000 worldwide libraries
The European Library - Access to the collections of the 48 National Libraries of Europe and leading European Research Libraries.
The Library of Congress - Catalogue records of the print and digital resources held in the Library of Congress collections (USA)
LibWeb - Find online library catalogues worldwide
CORE - Search the world's largest collection of open access research papers
The Forum Library print books are arranged in Dewey Decimal Classification order. This means that each books is assigned a classification number which is labelled on the book spine. Books on similar topics are grouped together. Find out more with our Classmarks guide.
The Dewey Decimal Classification system has 10 broad classes:
Each of these topics may be further divided into more specific subject areas, e.g. 590—Zoological Sciences, 595 Other Invertebrates
The numbers can be subdivided further using a decimal point and additional numbers after the point. The more numbers, the more specific the classification, e.g. 595.7 Insects, 595.789 Butterflies.
After the numbers you will usually find 3 letters - either the first 3 letters of the author's surname or the title of the book, e.g. 595.789 HIG.
An e-book collection that provides brief introductions to scholarly topics and can be browsed by subject.
The vast majority of our journal articles are available in digital format, although we do keep older print journals in the Forum Library.
Our journal databases may offer full text access or abstracts only, or sometimes a mixture of both.
Many of our databases fully index their content, by organising them under various subjects. This helps ensure that all potentially relevant articles are captured when searches are carried out.
Use Library Search to find Journal Titles and articles that relate to your research/study area.
For targeted searching, select a research database and explore the published literature in your field. Key databases are flagged above.
These are just a few of the audio-visual databases that we subscribe to. You can see a fuller list in the A to Z database here.
Most of our collections are available in full text online. Current, recent and historical news collections are all available.
See the News Libguide for more details.
The University has access to an extensive range of online primary source materials. These contain digitised copies of documents, letters, books, photographs and other primary sources.
The Primary Sources Libguide will help you identify the best databases for your research. As we have over 550 Primary Source collections, the collections have been categorised by Country, Time Period and Theme so that you can quickly find the most relevant collections for your research.
A full list of our primary sources databases can be found here. Below is a sample of some of the archive collections.
The Liberal Arts programme is multidisciplinary, the resources you require will depend on your perspective major and areas of interest. For more specialised resources, explore the LibGuides relevant to the subject / topic interests. For example, Art History, History, Business and News Resources . You can see the full LibGuides list here.
Use the Search Techniques LibGuides for lots of hints and tips on successful online searching
As you search you need to keep track of all the material you will be using in your academic work so that you can cite and reference it appropriately.
Always check your module handbook for specific departmental guidance on the style required for your assessed works and dissertations. Check with your personal tutor or dissertation supervisor if you need clarification.
For more guidance take a look at:
Find out more about the skills support available to help you develop a range of study skills including essay writing, referencing, critical reading and getting the most out of lectures.
Sage Research Methods Online (SRMO) is a great resource to use when you are planning and conducting your research.
It is targeted at social science researchers but is useful across all subject areas as it covers key research methodology topics that are applicable across the research spectrum.
Sage have produced a comprehensive LibGuide to help you get the best from the resource.
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