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HIS 301.03 Renaissance Florence: HOME

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Interlibrary Loan

Remember - if we don't have an article or a book at Stony Brook that you need, you can order it free of charge through our Interlibrary Loan service.

We will request a copy from another library.

Request an item or set up an account.

Note: Textbooks are not available through this service.

Quick Search Secrets

* [Asterisk] searches for various endings – anarch* searches for anarchy, anarchism, anarchist, etc.

"[Quotes]" searches for the exact phrase – “new deal,” “South Asia,” etc.

([Parentheses]) groups multiple search terms together– “trade and (China or Chinese)” will look for “trade and China” and “trade and Chinese.”

Top Picks

What Do I Do When...?

Problem: Solution:
I don't know where to start       Try Academic Search Complete
I get too many results
  • Add more search terms
  • Put phrases in quotes – “global warming”
  • Use AND – subprime AND mortgage
  • Use NOTMiami AND dolphins NOT football
  • Limit by date – the last two years or 2006 – 2008
  • Limit to peer-reviewed or scholarly journals
  • Combine keyword and subject searches
  • Use the Advanced Search tab, if available, for more options
I get too few results
  • Use OR with synonyms – students OR pupils
  • Use truncation (*) to search by word root - comput* for computers, computing, computation, etc.
  • Use wildcard (?) to search for alternative spellings – wom?n for woman, women, womyn
  • Go broader, for example, hip-hop rather than turntablism
  • Browse by subject
  • Look at the references or works cited list from an article or book you already have
  • Try a different database or search engine
I have trouble coming up with search terms
  • Check a thesaurus (The Oxford Paperback Thesaurus)
  • Check the subject headings listed on relevant articles or books
  • Browse subject headings in a database or the catalog
  • Read article abstracts to glean additional search terms
  • Look for  “Find Similar Results”, “Similar Pages” or “More Like This” links
  • Discuss with friends and family
  • Ask-a-librarian
I have trouble finding the right database
  • Use the subject drop down list
  • Check a subject guide for recommended databases
  • Ask-a-librarian
  • Ask your instructor


Chris Filstrup
Central Reading Room
Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, NY 11794