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Catalogs and Search Tools

Understand our tools and when to use them.

Search tools

  • NUsearch searches the Libraries' vast collection of books, journals, articles and multimedia.
  • Databases A-Z provides links to all library databases. Databases can be searched by title, subject or type.
  • Journals A-Z provides links to all library electronic journals.
  • WorldCat searches collections from thousands of libraries. Items may be requested via interlibrary loan and delivered to Northwestern. 
  • Online Reference Materials links to dictionaries, encyclopedias and other reference sources.
  • Archival and Manuscripts Collection portal search individual collections for for archival and primary source materials.
  • Digital Collections contains the Libraries' digital image, audio and video collections of primary sources from our distinctive collections.
  • Research Guides are lists of subject-specific sources, curated by our Subject Librarians.

Successful searching suggestions

  • Finding articles and books: To access articles and books, you will need to search library databases or the library catalog (NUSearch). 
  • Finding primary sources: To find primary sources, such as manuscripts, diaries, court cases, maps, data sets and experiment results, you may need to use specific databases and search tools.
  • Understanding call numbers: An item's call number tells us where the book is located in the library. Learn how to read the various types of call numbers used by the University Libraries.