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HIST 299: Sinners or Saints?: Women and Gender in the Middle Ages (Bush): Secondary Sources

Spring 2024

Find Books, E-Books & Book Chapters


CrossSearch is the Libraries' multi-search "discovery" tool. CrossSearch searches a cross-section of journal articles, newspapers, CDs, images, and many other types of resources available through the libraries. It is also our main library catalog -- the tool you use to find books, journals, films, and other items physically located in the library, as well electronic versions of those items. 

To leave out individual articles and focus on things like books and films, you can use the Catalog Only limit in CrossSearch. 

Watch our video tutorial  to learn more about CrossSearch! 

Search Tips:

Try searching for books using a very basic keyword search. Books tend to be on broad topics, so the terms you search with should be broad, too! Once you've found a few books that look interesting to you, you can use clues from the books to help you find other books. For example.... 

  • Call Numbers. Books on similar subjects are in similar areas of the library. For example, if you search for books on medieval medicine, you would see pretty quickly that most have call numbers beginning with R141 (or nearby). This means you can easily go to that section of the library (in that case, the Science Library) and look through the books in person! 

  • Vocabulary. Check the records in the library catalog for vocabulary in the tables of contents, titles, descriptions or other information that you might use for future searches. 
  • Subjects. Every book in our catalog is marked with at least 1 "tag" that tells you what the book is mostly about, and links together other books on that same topic. You can click on the tags to find a list of all other books using that tag. For example, if you click on the tag --Social history > Medieval, 500-1500.-- you would find all of our books marked as being about medieval social history. 

Locating Books in the Library

Books at Dinand Library are arranged by Library of Congress Call Number.

  • Reference books are in the Main Reading Room.
  • Call numbers A through G are on the upper (Mezzanine) level.
  • Call numbers H through Z are on the lower (Ground) level (with a few exceptions).
  • N and TR call numbers are located on the main level in the Visual Arts Wing.
  • Oversize books (with a "+" in the call number) are shelved at the end of the normal section for that letter. 

The Stacks Guide handout attached here has more information about how the stacks are organized, and the best places for you to look. 

You can also watch our Call Numbers video tutorial  to learn more about how call numbers work. Or, check out the Library of Congress Classification Outline for a detailed breakdown of our call number system. 

And of course, you might also find books you'd like to read at other libraries -- read more about Interlibrary Loan on the Access Options page. 

Searching for Ebooks at Holy Cross

To search for e-books located at Holy Cross, use CrossSearch.

Then, use the Resource Type limiter in the side navigation to focus your search on e-books. 

You may also want to search in our specific e-book collections: 

When searching within a specific ebook collection, you will be able to search the full text of each book allowing more detailed searching. For example, you may search the library catalog and not find any titles on your topic, but a search in ebrary might find a book with one chapter focused on your topic.

Accessing E-Books at Holy Cross:
In most cases, your best option is to use the "Read Online" feature for our e-books. Most academic e-books do not work with devices that you might use to read personal e-books, such as a Kindle or Nook (believe me -- this frustrates librarians too!). There is software that you can download onto a PC or iPad, but this can be difficult to use, so if you have a stable internet connection, I recommend reading online. 

However, if you would like to download the software, or if you are having trouble accessing any particular e-book, please feel free to contact us ( or see our e-books guide linked below: 

NOTE that most e-books do have limits on printing. Each publisher has different functionality and rules for downloading and printing ebooks. 

Monographs vs. Edited Collections

Monographs typically consist of a single intellectual work in one volume (i.e., one topic, likely one overall argument, etc.). You might find that an individual chapter or section of a monograph contributes substantially to your understanding of a topic. 

Edited collections (also sometimes called anthologies or edited works, among others) contain a collection of essays around a topic or idea, typically curated by one or more scholars in the field. These scholars, called the editors, have usually determined the topic of the collection, solicited papers on relevant topics, and selected the papers for final inclusion in the volume; they may have taken on other roles in the publishing process as well. Edited collections are valuable for their ability to bring together different takes on and aspects of a topic in a particular volume where they can be read together, but the chapters or essays also stand as their own intellectual works. 

Whereas monographs are quite broad, chapters in edited collections are more similar in depth and length to journal articles. 

Finding Edited Collections 

Edited collections are listed in CrossSearch like any other book. A trick for finding edited collections specifically is to include the term "edited" or "editor" as a keyword in your search.  From there, if the book is in print, you can use the strategies on the next tab (Book Chapters) to help identify the chapter(s) you would like to read -- or, find the entire book in the library.

You can also find chapters from edited collections...

  • listed in databases like International Medieval Bibliography (where they are typically labeled as "essays" or, more rarely, "book articles"); 
  • cited in bibliographies of articles and other books; and 
  • searchable in Google Scholar 

(among other places). 

Find Articles

Helpful Databases


In addition to the research databases, you can use the Libraries' E-Journals Search to look for articles in specific journals. 

This can be a useful strategy when: 

  • Your professor has recommended specific journals that address your topic; 
  • You notice that the same journals come up frequently while doing your research;
  • You have a citation for a specific article that you would like to read (see the Access Options tab for more).  

Just make sure not to rely too much on one or two specific journals. To get the broadest perspective possible on your topic, it's best practice to use multiple sources. 

Here are some journals you may want to use as a starting point: