eGuide: Philosophy information sources

Last updated: November 2018

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 eGuide for further information.

You will be able to borrow from Girton’s Main Library and the University Library. Your subject-specific library is the Philosophy Library (Casimir Lewy Library). 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.


Subject-specific resources

Understanding how to find relevant resources will help you prepare for supervisions, exams, and essays. You can look at the Philosophy Quick Resource Guide and resources for undergraduates from the Faculty of Philosophy for quick and easy guidance on resources. A list of philosophy resources recommended by the Faculty of Philosophy can be found hereThe University Library provides comprehensive listings of online databases by subject.


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 in the Philosophy LibGuide. Some key resources include:


Bibliographic resources

Philosopher’s Index
This describes itself as “a bibliographic database covering worldwide research in all areas of philosophy… created by philosophers for philosophers”. It includes journal articles books, book chapters such as contributions to anthologies, and book reviews.
Comprehensive directory of online academic philosophy, containing over 1,000,000 records and including links to open access archives and philosophy webpages. It will soon also include the Philosophy Research Index, with the intention of making it the complete index of philosophical research available.

JSTOR A large collection of ejournals, although it doesn’t usually cover the last 5 years.

Scopus The largest abstract and citation database of research literature covering arts and humanities titles (1970-). Updated daily.

Web of Science Large interdisciplinary database. Good for multidisciplinary topics. (1975-). Updated weekly.

Google Scholar Search engine for academic resources. If outside the University’s network, click on ‘Settings’ then ‘Library links’ and add ‘University of Cambridge’ to easily access Cambridge eresources

Project Muse A leading provider of digital humanities and social sciences content; since 1995, its electronic journal collections have supported a wide array of research needs at academic, public, special, and school libraries worldwide.


Reference sources

Routledge encyclopedia of philosophy online
Contains more than 2700 articles, with new articles added each year, and editorially-reviewed links to other websites.

Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy
An ongoing project to create a “dynamic reference work” to which new articles can be added and existing ones updated to reflect current thinking.


Finding ebooks

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. A list of some the philosophy eBooks available can be found on the Philosophy’s eBook page. For guidance on how to find philosophy eBooks read the Philosophy eBook guide from the Casimir Lewy Library.



For information on searching for websites, see Effective internet searching. An introduction to using the web, aimed specifically at philosophy students, is available from the Virtual Training Suite. It includes useful links (on subjects ranging from aesthetics to Wittgenstein) plus strategies for successful searching on the web.

The Faculty of Philosophy’s Casimir Lewy Library provides a very good overview of research resources at

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:


Other Useful Websites:

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy A broad range of articles. It is regularly revised and updated.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Excellent free resource. Some bibliographic entries link to PhilPapers so you can find articles easily.

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Philosophy A growing resource which provides guidance and recommendations about useful books, journal articles and websites for a range of topics in philosophy.

Oxford Reference Online Includes reference works and dictionaries for philosophy.


Help within Cambridge

Library staff can provide support and assistance. You can book an appointment with library staff, or, ask a question via The Colleges’ Fellow for Study Skills will also be able to help.

Some useful supporting resources include:

University of Cambridge training programmes
Eresources and Ejournals

Help With Electronic Resources

Jenny Blackhurst
t: +44 (0) 1223 338970