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Guide to Research and Writing for the Academic Study of Religion

Locating Books

Library search box   is a single search interface to the collections of Libraries  & Cultural Resources (Library, Museum, Archives).   To limit results to books set  filter to Books.  Note you can also limit to Available on shelf and/or full text online


Another option is to limit books to Library Collections:



If you are searching for very specialized information you might also want to consider searching our  digital book collections. This has the added advantage of allowing you to keyword search in the full text of the books, a particularly useful feature if you are looking for very specialized information.  While the Library search box does include fulltext searching for databases such as JSTOR, it does not cover all of our fulltext collections.

Examples include:

E-book Central (ProQuest) - over 100,000 digital books on all topics including many works for religious studies - create an account so you can highlight in the text and save books to your bookshelf.  NOTE you can limit your search to titles and subject headings, but if you choose to search full-text you need to take advantage of the proximity search options as this will help focus your retrieval. For example "religious WITHIN-3 ethics" will force the term religious to be located within 3 words of the term ethics.
Eighteenth Century Collections Online - almost 150,000 titles published in the 1700's. 
Past Masters - Encompasses the largest collection of full-text electronic editions in philosophy in the world.


You can also try searching  HathiTrust, a collection of over 6 million free scholarly books.  Note the Library search box automatically searches HathiTrust works.

Google Books is also useful for its full text searching capabilities that can help determine which books would be useful for your research.  You can then search the library catalogue to see if the Library holds the desired titles.   

Tools to identify books on your topic not currently held by the U of C

nternational Union Catalogues can be a helpful tool to locate information on your topic:

  • The Library Search Box is a wonderful tool for not only identifying resources we own but also can be used to identify other books and articles on your topic not held by the University of Calgary but contained in the Primo database.  Select  Add results beyond your library's collection (located just below the search box).   Note you will be able to directly link from any of the works to the Interlibrary Loan Request form
  • WorldCat is a joint catalogue of all types of materials held by many libraries worldwide. Besides having access to one of the largest databases in the world, an important advantage of using WorldCat is that records returned by your search will indicate whether the material is available at the U of C library or not. If it is unavailable at the Library you can always order the document through  Interlibrary Loan.   There is also a free version of - when you use this site you can enter your zip code and see where the closest libraries holding the work you need are located.  If you have incomplete information for the author and or title of the work you are looking for,  WorldCat is a great place to search to obtain more complete description for your work.
  • The European Library  -  access to the catalogs and collections of the national libraries of European nations.
  • University of Karlsruhe, Union Catalog Search - searches the union catalogs of universities in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and other European nations.
  • Centre for Research Libraries -  " The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is a consortium of North American universities, colleges and independent research libraries. The consortium acquires and preserves newspapers, journals, documents, archives and other traditional and digital resources for research and teaching.  As we are a member library, these resources are available to you  through interlibrary loan and electronic delivery."
Note:  TAL Online is a one stop shopping source for books and journals in libraries throughout Alberta.  Using TAL you can quickly search all the libraries in Alberta or just the academic libraries in Calgary.