Skip to Main Content

Humanities Research Guide : Searching

This guide was created to assist researchers in the Humanities by highlighting available resources at the Alma Jordan Library and pointing to other helpful tools and websites.


There are various strategies and techniques to searching to capitalize on the results retrieved. Searches can result in hundreds or thousands of records, so developing search skills  can reduce the number of  hits and and result in only relevant material for the user.

Where to search

The portal to the library's resources is UWIlinC

UWIlinC should be the first point of entry for searching the collections of the Alma Jordan Library. 

There are also collections in the West Indiana and Special Collections Division which may be relevant to a user's research. 

Individual databases can also be selected and perused for material on specific subjects from the Databases A-Z list.

UWIlinC Tutorial

Primary and Secondary Sources

Sources can be divided into primary and secondary sources. 

Primary sources can be considered a first-hand account and includes sources such as oral interviews, newspapers, letters, diaries and other archival material.

Secondary sources are analyses, interpretations or assessments using primary sources and includes material such as published books or articles. 

It is important to be aware of the type of resource you are searching for and the location of this resource in the library. 

Techniques in searching

Boolean searching is a library term to describe useful techniques in searching.

It allows users to combine keywords with operators such as AND, NOT and OR to produce better results.


Using 'AND' to connect terms narrows the search. It tells the system that all search terms must be present.


Using 'OR' broadens the search and tells the system that any of the terms can be present.


Using 'NOT' also narrows the search by excluding words that may appear automatically with another term. 

Meet the Staff

Profile Photo
Karen Eccles
Humanities Division
3rd Floor, Room 302
The Alma Jordan Library
662-2002 Ext. 82262, 83363