Start with Books


Reference books

  • Use reference books (specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries, bibliographies, and handbooks) early in the research process to find topic overviews.
  • Continue to use reference books throughout the research process as you discover new areas to explore.
  • Remember that reference books often synthesize the research on broad topic areas and can be more helpful than article searches when you're just starting your research. 


  • Use monographs (books that provide a detailed treatment of a single subject or an aspect of a subject) for in-depth information. Examples of monographs include a history of a single institution, an analysis of the evolution of an aspect of black education or a study of a particular period in education.
  • Monographs can be a useful source for finding primary sources.

See HOLLIS search tips to search for books.

Scholarly Articles

Although HOLLIS includes articles, the databases below focus your search by discipline and/or provide sophisticated search features to improve your results. Meet with a librarian to learn strategies for efficient, effective searching.