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Liberal Arts: finding library resources for assignments

Online tutorial introducing you to the skills and techniques needed for effective library research

Library Search is often a good starting point for introductory material, but it's important to note that not all database content is available via Library Search. If you want to search across all of our collections, search the databases too!


Use research databases to find articles, chapters and other academic papers in your field.

A research database contains detailed records of thousands of journal articles, book references and conference proceedings. These records usually include the article title, authors, abstract (a brief summary), keywords (to enable your search to find it) and more.

Research databases for Liberal Arts

You can quickly find multi-disciplinary databases by selecting Liberal Arts from the drop down subject menu on the A-Z list. 


The breadth of Liberal Arts means that the huge range of databases available to you can be found under the subject area that you are studying so for example, if you are looking at plays, choose the Drama option to see the full list of Drama databases.

The databases in this section are multi-disciplinary in their scope. They contain scholarly literature on a wide range of subjects including the liberal arts. These databases primarily contain secondary sources such as journal articles, books, reviews etc, although some may contain a mix of both primary and secondary sources.

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.

Subject coverage:

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).

Humanities International Complete provides comprehensive coverage of worldwide humanities scholarly literature with full-text content.

The video below shows how to search EBSCO databases, such as Humanities International Complete:

‚ÄčJSTOR is a multidisciplinary research database of full-text journals and e-books in all subject areas. The content includes some primary sources.

JSTOR is an archive with material only being uploaded periodically. The very latest journal articles and books will not be found in this database. However, it is a good source for older material.

International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS) provides abstracts and indexes to literature across the social sciences. It covers 4 broad subjects areas: anthropology, economics, political science and sociology.

Find out more detailed about the collection here.

IBSS sits on the same platform as the British Humanities Index and both collections can be searched at the same time.

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