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A Guide To...Religious Studies

Welcome to the Religious Studies Research Guide!  

This site was developed as a resource for students majoring in, studying or simply interested in the field of religious studies, as well as our Religious Studies faculty.  It includes information about library research and resources as well as editions of sacred texts, reference books and other useful materials for each of the different religious traditions studied at Holy Cross. 

Finding Books

Search for Books:

Search for books at Holy Cross by using CrossSearch on the library homepage (the Classic Catalog also works).  


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, and other items physically located in the library.  

To search only items physically owned by the libraries, you can use the Catalog Only limit in CrossSearch. 

Watch this video  to learn more about CrossSearch! 

You can search the catalog in a few different ways. 

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.
  • 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. mecca
  • 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. 

Library of Congress Classification & the Stacks 

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 call numbers are located in the Visual Arts Wing on the main level of the library. 
  • Oversize books (with a "+" in the call number) are shelved at the end of the normal section for that letter. 

See the handout below for information about how the stacks are organized, and the best places for you to look. 

You can also watch  this video  to learn more about how call numbers work! 

Interlibrary Loan for Books:

Have you ever discovered a book that would be perfect for your research topic, only to learn that Holy Cross doesn't own it? That's where InterLibrary Loan comes in. 

InterLibrary Loan or ILL is a service that allows you to request books owned by other libraries all over the US -- and in some cases, around the world! Once you've placed a request, another library will send the book to Holy Cross for your use. 

Some things to keep in mind: 

  • Depending on where a book is traveling from, it can take up to 1-2 weeks (though usually less) to arrive. Make sure to plan ahead!
  • ILL books often have shorter checkout periods than books you borrow from HC Libraries. When your book arrives, it will come with a sticker indicating the due date.

To find books or journals outside of HC Libraries -- and to request them -- use the    database, which combines library catalogs from all over the world.

Once you locate an item you would like to request, find this box in the WorldCat record and click ILLiad Interlibrary Loan

 Then log-in, fill in the information required, then hit Submit Request

Interlibrary Loan Pro-Tips: 

  • Need a specific chapter of a book? You can often get it faster by placing a digital book chapter request. Just log-in to Interlibrary Loan, and then under the "New Request" section, choose "Book Chapter":