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HIST 3550: Origins of Scientific Thought: Secondary Sources: Books


1) Do not only browse the shelves. We have a lot of books stored off-site in the Depository, so take time to look through the books under appropriate subject headings in MERLIN.

2) Subject headings: if you have a name, start by searching the name (last name first) as a subject heading. Even if you don't have a name, try a broad subject search. Look for smaller subdivisions of the subject that may be helpful.

3) To save time, look for the Limit Search button to limit your search to English language.

4) If we don't have a book you want, search for the book in All MERLIN and use the Request Item function. Still no luck? Use MOBIUS. Within MOBIUS, there is also a link to Prospector, which you should use if MOBIUS fails you.

Library Catalogs

To search for books on a topic, go straight to a library catalog such as MERLIN (for the MU Libraries), MOBIUS (for all Missouri academic libraries) or Worldcat (for most U.S. and some non-U.S. libraries).

Searching For Books: Three Very Different Approaches

Approach 1: Search for books ABOUT a person or other subject, or search for a known book. Search the MERLIN catalog to look through titles, subject headings, some tables of contents. 

Approach 2: To find books that MENTION a particular work, person, technology, named idea, etc., use full-text searches. Search the library Search & Find, limiting to books, or search HathiTrust and use the Find In a Library function.

Approach 3: Browse lists of books on the topic of ancient science/medicine, and find books that look useful to you. Then investigate them further - see if we own them, and see if you can view or search some of their text. If you think the library should buy a copy (especially if there are no other copies in the system), use the Purchase Recommendation Form.

Sample books (some ebooks, some print)