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Library Research Guides

Women's Studies 315 / English 315

This research guide has been designed to support the research needs of students currently enrolled in Women and Literature: Women's Studies 315 (WS315) / English 315 (ENG315).

Step #1: How to Find Items In Special Collections

The Special Collections Library houses rare and older texts and the main public reading room is located on the 8th floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library. However, it's VERY important to note that most items are stored off site and will not be available for immediate use. This page will show you how to find items in Special Collections and how to request items be sent over to the library from storage so you can use it when you're ready.

Many of the items available in Special Collections are listed in Mirlyn. However, whenever you search Mirlyn from the basic search page (the one shown in the screenshot to the right), you can't limit your search to look for items ONLY in Special Collections. Therefore, you should go to the Advanced Search page highlighted by the red arrow in the image to the right. Threre are many more ways to control what you're searching for from the Advanced Search page vs. the basic search page.

Step #2: How to Find Items in Special Collections

The way to limit your search to only searching for items in Special Collections is to change the "Location" as shown in the screenshot to the right. The red arrow highlights a drop down menu you can use to select "Special Collections" as your location of where to look for information.

An additional feature which will help you find relevant items in Special Collection is to limit your search by year of publication (green arrow on the right). For example, in this screenshot the years 1500-1700 have been entered. This means the items found will need to have been published between 1500 and 1700.

You will also need to enter some type of relevant keyword to make sure that you get a list of results when doing this search. In this example, the blue arrow shows that the keyword "literature" has been entered. Ideally, using this type of keyword will mean that you find items that in some way talk about literature or are a piece of literature. 

You may also limit your search by language; meaning, the language the book has been published in. It's not highlighted in the example to the right, but section below "location" gives you the option to limit your language of material.

Step #3: How to Use a Special Collections Item

The image on the right shows you the information for one of the books which was found when doing the search shown in step #2. What you can tell from this image is that this book is in English, was authored by 6 people, and was published in 1525 (look at line of information next to "Published"). More information is also listed under the "Holdings" tab (light green box). What we see is that the item is in the "Special Collections General and Rare" Library and it has a call # of PA8360 J6 H63 1525 (green arrow).

So great, now that you've found a book you want to see, how do you actually get your hands on the item?

Since the majority of Special Collections items are in a storage facility off-campus, it's important that you plan in advance coming to the library to look at these older and rare items. Once you find an item you want to see in person, you'll want to use the "Request This" button (red arrow) listed next to the item in the catalog. Once you click on the button, you'll be taken to a page where you can request that this item be sent over to the Special Collections Reading Room located on the 8th of the Hatcher Graduate Library. You'll get an email telling you the item is ready for you when it arrives. Once it does arrive, you can go up to the 8th floor any time the Special Collections Library is open (hours can be found on the main Special Collections Library page).


Step #1: How to Find Items in Special Collections

Step #2: How to Find Items in Special Collections

Step #3: How to Use a Special Collections Item