Tools and Guides

Close up of a classic card catalog previously used as a research finding aid.

The University Libraries provides access to millions of books, thousands of journals, and hundreds of databases. We understand that knowing where to begin your search may be overwhelming. Below you will find brief descriptions of the many places you can begin your search.

Library Tools and Guides

A-Z Databases | The University Libraries subscribes to over a thousand databases that allow you to have access to electronic resources like journals, articles, and books. You can narrow your search down by subject or search for a known database. Make sure your wireless network is set to “wustl-encrypted-2.0” when accessing databases while on campus.

Citation Linker | This resource allows researchers to reverse-search a citation to locate the journal article. If the Libraries subscribe to the full-text of that article online, researchers will be linked to it; if the Libraries do not subscribe to the full-text, Citation Linker search results will display other options for acquiring it, such as Interlibrary Loan.

Classic Catalog | The Classic Catalog includes records for books, journals, newspapers, conference proceedings, government documents, microforms, video, and audio recordings in University Libraries’ collections and Washington University Medical School’s Becker Library collection.

ArchivesSpace | Search and locate materials across all collecting areas in the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections: Dowd Modern Graphic History Library, Film and Media Archive, Local History, Manuscripts, Rare Books, and University Archives.

eJournals & eBooks | Search for electronic resources that include books, chapters, journals, and articles.

Google Scholar | Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts, and court opinions from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities, and other websites.

Interlibrary Loan | Interlibrary Loan (ILL or ILLiad) allows Washington University students, faculty, and staff to obtain materials that are not held by the University Libraries.

New Acquisitions | The new books feed features new acquisitions during the past 15 days. Users can filter and refine their search results within the acquisitions feed.

Open Scholarship | A repository that provides free and open access to the scholarly output of the University community by gathering it in one place. It includes article reprints, journals, books, student projects, conference sites, and theses and dissertations.

Primo | Primo provides one-stop access to the Libraries’ collections by searching across hundreds of catalogs, indexes, and databases. Primo is a great place to begin your research because it searches multiple library resources through one interface. Because Primo encompasses such a rich variety of resources, it could lead you to resources you might have otherwise overlooked. Try searching in Primo when you might otherwise search Google Scholar, the Libraries’ Catalog, or a research database like JSTOR.

Research Guides | Research Guides are carefully curated guides that aim to provide research assistance about specific subject areas and specific courses. These guides contain useful resources that have been compiled by your friendly Washington University Librarians.

Interlibrary Loan Search Tools

MOBIUS | If the University Libraries does not own a resource you need, you may be able to request it from another library. Use MOBIUS to search and request items from other libraries.

WorldCat | WorldCat is a catalog of materials held by libraries worldwide. Primarily a tool to search books, it also includes periodicals, sound recordings, musical scores, videos, manuscripts, and maps.

Contact Us

Remember, you can always contact the University Libraries for one-on-one help. If you need more assistance with your research, we can help you:

  • Develop an effective time-saving search strategy for a research paper or project
  • Locate books, journal and newspaper articles, and other resources on your topic
  • Locate sources that will help you evaluate the information you have found

Ask Your Subject Librarian

Need help searching for an article or book? Reach out to your subject librarian for assistance.

subject librarians

Off-Campus Access

Log in with your WUSTL key and password in order to gain free access to our resources.

Off-campus access

Research Guides

Check out subject and course-related guides with resources you can use, all curated by our subject librarians.

Research guides