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Expos 20 | More than A Game


Understand What HOLLIS Is

HOLLIS is two databases in one. 

It combines the extensive contents of our library catalog and another, large and multidisciplinary database of journal, newspaper, and magazine articles. HOLLIS enables you to search across subjects, languages, time periods, and information formats. 

There's sometimes an advantage to searching the library catalog separately, however: 

  • You'll usually have smaller result sets to work with. 
  • You'll privilege results that are in book form and available at Harvard, in print or online.  
  • You'll be able to tap into a rich system of subject tags that will link you to related sources.

In HOLLIS, you'll only get at articles by choosing the "Everything" search.  

Know How to Build Good Searches

Creating search strings with some of the techniques below can help you get better results up front. 

conventions to use quotation marks to search phrases, Boolean operators, truncation with an asterisk, parenthesis for synonyms

Take Control of Your Search Results

While searching HOLLIS you may sometimes find yourself overwhelmed by either the numbers or types of results your search returns. If this happens, try one of these easy tricks to bring your results into sharper focus:

1. Limit your Everything search results set to items that are identified as PEER REVIEWED ARTICLES.

  • You'll eliminate newspaper and magazine materials as well as books, of course, but you'll also raise the visibility of scholarly journal articles in what displays. 

3. Think about limiting your results to publications from the last 5, 10, 15, or 20 years.

  • By doing so you'll get a snapshot of the most recent research trends and scholarly approaches in a field (or around a particular issue).

4. Try adding a keyword (or keywords) to indicate what you're after

  • Examples
    • handbook or companion or encyclopedia are common words to help identify good background or overview sources.
    • criticism or interpretation are words that will bring up secondary source studies of a book, film, artwork, musical piece, artist or writer, etc. 
    • history is a way to get at full-length studies not just of countries or events, but also of ideas and concepts and broad subjects. 
    • debate or controversy (or controvers* to pick up variants), or contested or disputed are words that will often help you surface works that identify the "stakes" of a particular argument, action, conclusion, etc. 
    • theory or theoretical or philosophy or philosophical are terms that sometimes help surface works in larger contexts or examined via a "lens" of some kind. 


Getting PDFs From Us

Scan and Deliver

When an article you find in HOLLIS is not owned at Harvard, or is available in a printed journal volume but not online, you can ask us to make a PDF for you through a service called Scan and Deliver. This service is also an option if you want up to two chapters of any Harvard-owned book digitized for your use.

Tracking Down Other Copies of Books

If a book you need is not owned by the Harvard Library or is not currently available from the Library, use BorrowDirect to search for and request a copy from another university library.