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MONT 199C-S14: Dungeons, Dragons & Diversity (Santos)

Spring 2024

Find Articles: Library Databases

About Databases

A database is a collection of information that is arranged and tagged for easy searching and retrieval. Think of a database like an online storage container: It stores different publications, journals, books, magazines, and newspapers and makes it possible for you to access them. The library subscribes to over 300 databases that are available for Holy Cross students to use. Visit our A-Z Databases list to see what is available.

General Databases

General databases include information and journals that cover many subjects and academic fields. These can be a good place to start if you’re not sure what subject your topic falls under, if your topic is interdisciplinary and falls under multiple subject areas, if you want to see perspectives from different fields about your topic, or if you simply want to find general information.

To find general databases, go to the A-Z Database List. In the dropdown menu labeled "Subjects," select "_General" and click "Search." You will see a list of general databases, with some highlighted as "Best Bets." Some general databases are listed below.

Subject Databases

Subject databases include journals and publications from a specific academic field. They may include a number of different publications, but they are all within the same academic area. These can be helpful if you want to look at one specific subject or field.

To find subject databases, go to the A-Z Database List. In the dropdown menu labeled "Subjects," select your subject area and click "Search." Click through the tabs at the top of this box to see some subject databases that may be helpful for the subjects covered in your class.

Encyclopedias and Reference Sources

These resources can be a good place to start for background research. They may not include scholarly articles, but can give you a general understanding of a topic and help you identify key terms and important events in history.


Political Science

Sociology / Social Science


Anthropology is the study of human societies and cultures.

World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Find Books: Library Catalog

Library Catalog

Use the Library Catalog to find print books, print journals, and ebooks in the library's collection. Access the Library Catalog search through the library home page ( Above the search bar, select "Library Catalog." To use more advanced searching options, click on the "My Library Account" link below the search bar to go directly to the catalog, where you can search by keyword, title, subject, or call number.

Call Numbers

Books on the shelves are organized by call number. A call number is an address for a book that tells you where the book is located on the shelf. Call numbers identify different subject areas, so books with similar call numbers will cover similar subjects. This way, when you find a book on the shelf, you know the books around it are on similar topics. You can see full lists of call numbers from the Library of Congress here.

Some specific call number ranges to consider:

  • D: World History (Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania)
    • DS Asia
    • DT Africa
    • DU Oceania
  • E: History of the United States
  • F: History of the Americas
    • F 1-975 United States local history, by geography
    • F 1201-3799 Latin America
    • F 1201-1392 Mexico
    • F 1421-1440 Central America
  • GR: Folklore
  • H: Social Sciences
    • HN Social history and conditions
    • HT Communities. Classes. Races
  • J: Political Science
    • JL Political institutions and public administration (Canada, Latin America, etc.)
    • JQ Political institutions and public administration (Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Area, etc.) 
    • JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration

The handout linked below shows how to read a call number and where call numbers are located in Dinand Library.

Call Number Example

Find Articles, Books, and More: CrossSearch

CrossSearch is a one-stop search tool that lets you search most of the informational resources available through the library, including:

  • Books, ebooks, archival materials, media and music scores owned by the Holy Cross Libraries.
  • Research databases like Academic Search Premier, JSTOR, ARTstor and ProQuest Central.
  • E-journal collections like JSTOR and ScienceDirect.
  • The Holy Cross digital repository CrossWorks.
  • Open Access collections such as HaithiTrust Digital Library

As you can see, CrossSearch looks in many different places and for many different types of sources. In one search, you might see results for academic journal articles, books in the library’s collection, films, newspaper articles, and more. This can be a good place to start if you want to see a broad scope of the resources available on your topic. However, because CrossSearch includes so many types of resources, you might find you need to filter these results more than you would in a more specific database.

CrossSearch is best accessed through the library home page (

Screenshot of the CrossSearch search box

How to Check Out Books