Searching for resources
There are two key library catalogues you may use when studying at Cambridge:
- Girton Library catalogue (Heritage) – search Girton Library’s collection and see if items are available or already on loan. See our eGuide for further information.
- iDiscover – to search across the University’s print and electronic collections (including books, eBooks, journals, newspapers, articles and much more). Most, but not all, of Girton’s collection can be found here. See our iDiscover: eGuide for further information.
You will be able to borrow from Girton’s Main Library and the University Library. Your subject-specific libraries are the Seeley Historical Library (for politics) and SPS Library (for sociology). However, there may be other libraries within Cambridge which stock useful resources. For a full list of the Cambridge libraries see the directory and check each library for access guidelines.
Search Spacefinder to find places of study within Cambridge.
For information on searching general databases and journals see Beyond books: finding articles and journals. To find links to specific databases and journals see the eresources & ejournals LibGuide. Relevant resources can also be found on the subject LibGuides (Sociology & Politics and International Studies). Some key resources include:
International Bibliography of the Social Sciences
IBSS contains bibliographic information from an international selection of publications (including over 2800 journals) in the fields of economics, political science, sociology, and anthropology.
“Sociological Abstracts abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. The database provides abstracts of journal articles and citations to book reviews drawn from thousands of serials publications, and also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, dissertations, and conference papers.”
UK Data Service (on and off campus – UIS or Raven password required both on and off campus plus additional registration which is available by registering on the site itself)
This includes what was the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS).
International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences
This contains 4000 articles which can be browsed thematically, alphabetically or by an author and is the online edition of the 26-volume printed Encyclopedia.
You can find most of the university’s ebooks via iDiscover. To understand more about ebooks read Introduction to ebooks. For help with searching for ebooks read Finding and using ebooks.
For information on searching for websites, see Effective internet searching. Introductions to using the web, aimed specifically at sociology students, is available from the Virtual Training Suite. The guide includes useful links plus strategies for successful searching on the web.
One of the easiest ways to discover information of academic value on the internet is to use one of the many subject-related hubs or gateways:
CIA publications – includes the World Factbook and directory of World leaders
IPSAportal – “an official publication of the International Political Science Association”, top 300 websites in political science
Marxists internet archive – includes key Marxist texts such as the Communist Manifesto
International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS) An essential online resource for social science and interdisciplinary research. IBSS includes over two million bibliographic references to journal articles and to books, reviews and selected chapters dating back to 1951.
JSTOR A digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography A standard work of reference on notable figures from British history, published from 1885.
Oxford Reference Online brings together language and subject reference works from one of the world’s biggest and most trusted reference publishers into a single cross-searchable resource.
Web of Science Multidisciplinary research platform which enables simultaneous cross-searching of a range of citation indexes and databases. It offers access to research tools like citation reports and cited reference searching and personalised features such as saved searches and alerts.
- An A-Z list of all online resources in Cambridge
- Hansard: House of Commons (1803-)
- Hansard: House of Lords (1803-)
- UK Parliamentary Papers
- United Nations Digital Library
- United Nations Treaty Collection