Gathering Background Information
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a dynamic reference work with essays written and maintained by an expert or group of experts in the field. All entries and substantive updates are refereed by the members of a distinguished Editorial Board before they are made public.
Oxford Bibliographies Online offers peer-reviewed, annotated bibliographies on topics in disciplines including Philosophy and Political Science.
Cambridge Companions to Philosphy, Religion and Culture is part of a series from Cambridge University Press, offering introductions to major writers, artists, and philosophers, as well as special topics and periods. The collections are cross-searchable and updated as new editions are made available.
HOLLIS+ is a tool that allows you to search Books and Articles, in the Harvard collection, at the same time.
Social Science Premium provides access to databases covering the international literature in the social sciences, including politics, sociology, social services, anthropology, and education.
Web of Science is a database covering the journal literature in the sciences, social sciences and the arts. One of the most useful aspects of the database is the ability to do citation searching to determine who has cited a particular article or author.
Philosophy, History & Politics
Annual Reviews offers comprehensive, timely collections of critical reviews written by leading scholars.
PhilPapers (Philosophical Research Online) is a comprehensive index of philosophy books and articles. It offers unique features such as real-time indexing of pre-prints, fine-grained classification by topic, email alerts, reading lists, advanced search functionality, and discussion forums.
WorldWide Political Science Abstracts indexes the journal literature in political science and its related fields, including international relations, law, and public policy.
HeinOnline is a digital collection of primary and secondary materials relating to law organized into several modules.
America: History & Life is the primary bibliographic reference to the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present, covering over 2,000 journals published worldwide. Historical Abstracts is a reference guide to the history of the world from 1450 to the present (excluding the United States and Canada).
Bibliography of Asian Studies covers articles on all subjects related to East, Southeast, and South Asia from 1971 to the present (primarily in the humanities and social sciences). The most important 100+ periodicals in Asian Studies are included.
Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies (MECAS) is an index to research, policy, and scholarly discourse on the Middle East, Central Asia, and North Africa.
If you're looking for books on a topic, use the default search in HOLLIS, which is a keyword search:
- Note the options on the right hand side of the screen. These will allow you to refine your searches by author, language, subject, etc.
- Your Keyword searches can lead you to "Subjects", which enable more precise searching.
- Once you find a subject heading, you can use it to refine your searches to the most relevant material.
For books not currently available at Harvard, you can request them through Borrow Direct. If one of the libraries in this network has the item, you should receive it within 4 days. If it’s not available through Borrow Direct, you can submit an Interlibrary Loan request to borrow it from a broader network of libraries, which takes an average of 2 weeks.
If you find an item in another library that you think the Harvard Library should own, you can submit a Collections Purchase Request.
Helpful Library Services & Tools
- Check Harvard Library Bookmark - Search for full-text access.
- Scan & Deliver is a free electronic document delivery service for Harvard students, faculty and staff.
- Borrow Direct enables you to borrow books, not currently available at Harvard, from a small network of libraries. Items are usually delivered within four days.
- Interlibrary Loan lets you borrow articles, books or other items from a larger network of libraries. It takes an average of two weeks to receive requested items.
- Research Management and Citation Tools enable you to collect and to organize your sources and to create bibliographies quickly. Harvard Guide to Using Sources provides information about using and citing sources in your academic work.
- Harvard Library Research Guides provide information about and strategies for using the Library's electronic and print collections, citation tools and more.
- Ask a Librarian is our virtual reference service.