This page is divided into four sections:
The Library of Congress has designated several letters to indicate major divisions in religious studies, with double letters denoting more specific categories:
Remember -- Wardman Library's catalog comprises records of books and DVDs held at Wardman Library. If you're seeking articles from scholarly journals, the catalog is not the place to look. Click here to learn how to find articles from scholarly journals.
If you know the title or author of the book (or DVD) you're seeking, searching within the catalog is a simple matter -- simply type one or more of these terms in the catalog's search field, where the default search is "Keyword" or use the dropdown menu to select a different search category (in this case, "Title" or "Author").
Finding relevant books (or DVDs) for a topic about which the researcher knows little is slightly more complicated than simply determining whether Wardman Library has a specific item, but following these steps is a good start:
Once you've found one or two books that look promising for your research, an additional way to find similar works is to click on the book's call number, which will place the book in an ascending list of the books around it -- the books with call numbers closest to your book will take up similar subjects.
Researchers should also remember to browse around a book in the stacks. As books are arranged by subject according to LC subject classifications, the books physically closest to a book in which you are interested may be germane to your topic.
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Worldcat ("world catalog") is a union or aggregator catalog, which means that over 70,000 libraries worldwide, including Wardman Library, submit their catalog records to the site. As of 2011, Worldcat contained more that 150 million different records associated with over 1.4 billion physical and digital library items.
Whittier College students can use Worldcat to determine which local institutions have a copy of a particular book (Worldcat uses your IP address to rank libraries by distance), and/or as a discovery tool to cross reference with Wardman Library's catalog. For those books that Wardman Library does not have, Worldcat can be used to inform LINK+ requests (see next section).
For more information about how to find books associated with a given Library of Congress subject heading in any catalog, including Worldcat, see the "Researching by subject" box here. For more information about how to use Worldcat for research purposes, ask a librarian.
Don't panic. If you need a Wardman Library book that has been checked out, or if you can't find books that are relevant to your research interest in the Wardman Library catalog, you should use the LINK+ catalog.
LINK+ is a consortium of over forty public and academic libraries in California and Nevada; the LINK+ catalog is essentially a "super catalog" whose contents comprise the records from the catalogs of all of these libraries. Via LINK+, Whittier College students and faculty can request an item not available in Wardman Library electronically and it will be delivered within two to four days. The service is free, easy, and extremely convenient. The loan period is twenty-one days with one renewal.
Google Book Search (below), the HathiTrust Digital Library, and the Internet Archive include more than ten million freely accessible e-books, with full-text searching capabilities. Full-text searching means researchers can discover books using key words and phrases within the text, instead of having to rely on titles, authors, or subject terms as in library catalogs.