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Getting started on research in the Yale libraries....

How to use library resources efficiently: The organization of libraries

Although libraries traditionally separate resources according to their formats - print materials from microtext, electronic resources from print, visual materials from audio, and, in some cases, books from periodicals - they attempt to counteract these artificial separations with a variety of tools, including Abstracts, Almanacs, Bibliographies, Catalogs, Databases, Encyclopedias, Finding aids, Guides, and Indexes, all of which are designed to identify and point to information.

Like many university libraries, Yale has branch and departmental libraries, area collections, and special collections that collect primary and secondary materials related to designated subject areas, regardless of format. Subject specialists at these libraries and collections can direct you to a variety of relevant sources.

Many scholars do not take advantage of the tools that have been created to provide access to information. They tend to rely on looking at footnotes in sources they already know, browsing the stacks, or searching catalogs in inefficient ways. Most librarians are not experts in the content of disciplines, but they are trained to understand the available systems and methods of locating the content. Consulting the Research Guides created by Yale librarians will help you understand what tools are available to facilitate your research.
Researching a topic in four easy steps

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This file last modified 09/25/13
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