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Women and Gender Studies: Finding Books

How to Search for Books

Use the Library Catalog to search for print resources, multimedia resources, and ebooks. The Library Catalog also provides location and availability details. Use quotation marks for "phrase searching"

Library Catalog Search Tips

Types of Searches


  • Combine terms using AND.
  • This search returns records that contain words that match exactly what you typed in.
  • This is often (but not always) the best place to start.


  • Catalog uses pre-defined subjects. 
  • This type of search works well if you are browsing for a particular subject that you know or a broad term. So if you aren't finding anything, switch to the keyword search instead.
  • Subjects are arranged using the Library of Congress Classification system.


  • Author searches are for looking for items a particular person has authored or written.
  • The library catalog works best if you type in searches in the format "Lastname, Firstname."
  • If you want books about a person, search for their name by subject.


  • Use this search if you know the title of the material that you want.

Recent Books Added to the Library Collection

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Why Use Reference Books?

To gather background information on your topic and to learn about research and scholarship in the field are good reasons to start with reference material.

For Social Science research, a good starting point is the International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences which besides sociology includes:

gender studies
media studies
political science
urban studies

You can also try Credo Reference, an online database with approximately 400 reference books, including:

  • encyclopedias
  • dictionaries (English and foreign language)
  • thesauri
  • books of quotations

as well as a range of subject-specific reference books including Sociology.

Oxford Bibliographies provides a seamless pathway to the most accurate and reliable resources for a variety of academic topics. Written and reviewed by academic experts, every article in the Oxford Bibliographies database is an authoritative guide to the current scholarship, containing original commentary and annotations. The link below goes directly to the Sociology Bibliographies.

Selected Print & Online Reference Books

Subject dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks typically provide background essays, definitions, broad overviews of various topics, or other pertinent facts.