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Library Research Guides

History Honors Colloquium

Resources for students in UM's History Honors Colloquium: how to find background information on a topic, how to search the library catalog, how to locate primary and secondary sources in a variety of formats, and how to create and manage citations.

Searching for Books in Mirlyn: The Basics

In order to find books in the library catalog (Mirlyn), start at

From the basic search screen, you can search by author, title, keyword (all fields), or subject.

From the advanced search screen, you can combine searches.  For example, you can search for a book by a particular author with a specific keyword in the title.  You can also limit by library, publication date, language, etc.

Search Strategies:

  • An asterix (*) or question mark (?) can be used to truncate search terms, i.e., to find words that have a common root.  Use an asterix for multiple letters (minim* will find minimum, minimize, minimal) and a question mark for single letters (wom?n will find both woman and women).
  • Use quotation marks to search for exact phrases ("ocean tourism").
  • You can use a connector (AND, OR, or NOT) to widen or limit your search.

Mirlyn Book Record

All the basic information about an item is included in the Mirlyn record.

Finding Books at Other Libraries

Library Catalogs that include books at other libraries:


The Center for Research Libraries is a particularly good place to check for microfilm sets of periodicals. You can request CRL materials through interlibrary loan--just make sure to include a note indicating that the item is held at CRL.

If MLibrary doesn't have a book that you need, there are two ways to request it:

UBorrow is a consortial program that allows you to request books from any other CIC library. The books generally arrive faster than through ILL.

Interlibrary loan (ILL) allows you to request books from libraries all over the world.