There is no single tool that includes all Boston College Libraries collections and resources in one search, so use different tools based on your needs:
a search of books, articles, and other materials in BC collections and beyond
What is Holmes: BC Collections?
- BC physical library collections (books, DVDs, CDs, maps, archives and special collections, and more)
- Some electronic materials (e-books, BC Digital Collections, streaming video, and more)
What is Holmes: BC Collections best for?
- Finding a specific book, journal, or physical item in the BC Libraries when you already know the title
- Starting a new search to see what material we own about a topic
What is Holmes: Articles?
- Journal articles from a variety of sources, though not the entirety of articles available through BC Libraries
What is Holmes: Articles best for?
- Finding a specific article online when you already know the article title (Far from all the articles in our collections are individually indexed here, however; if your article is not found, search the journal title in Holmes: BC Collections to see if we own the journal in any format)
What's not in Holmes?
- Neither Holmes: BC Collections nor Holmes: Articles include all of the journal articles available through our collections; if you need to do a more in-depth search on a topic, you'll want to go further with Research Databases
Holmes Search Tips
- After running a search, use the filters on the left of the results page to narrow your search to only physical or online material, to a specific BC library, or by subject, date, and more
- To narrow your results before running the search, use the drop-down menus on the Advanced Search page
- Add quotation marks around a term to search it as a phrase instead of as individual words -- for example:
- “great depression”
- Combine search terms using AND, OR, NOT (in uppercase) -- for example:
- plastics AND environment will narrow to results that have both terms
- plastics OR environment will broaden to results that have either term
- plastics NOT environment will eliminate results that contain the term environment
- Searches can be nested using parentheses -- for example:
- (squid OR octopus) AND ("Gulf of California" OR "Sea of Cortez")
- Wildcards -- an asterisk (*) will give you any word which starts with the letters you use -- for example:
- allerg* will bring results for allergy, allergies, allergens, allergic, etc.
in-depth, refined tools for finding articles and other sources in specific subjects
What are Research Databases?
- Subject-specific collections of journal articles, data, archival material, and more
- Powerful search engines with nuanced capabilities to focus and narrow your search
What are Research Databases best for?
- Finding scholarly journal articles in specific disciplines
- Finding magazine, newspaper, and other popular articles
With over 600 different databases, where do I start?
- If you know where you'd like to start, just go to any database alphabetically or by subject, but if you're not sure where to begin, try using the Research Guides
a quick search of what journals are available electronically through the BC Libraries
What is the E-journals tool best for?
- Looking up the title of any journal, magazine, or newspaper to see if it is available online through the BC Libraries
Is this searching for articles?
- No, the e-journal tool shows you what journals we have available electronically, and you can then search within a specific journal for individual articles
- If you're looking for a broad search for articles on a topic, try Research Databases or Holmes: Articles
Are these all of the journals available at BC?
- More and more of the journals available at BC are electronic, but certainly not all -- we still have many journals available in print or microform
- Search Holmes: BC Collections for a definitive list of what journals we have available and in what format (print, electronic, microform)
sources, strategies, and support from your Boston College Librarians
What are Research Guides best for?
- Offering you good starting places for your focused, scholarly research, organized by broad and narrow subject and even specific courses
- Helping you find subject specialists and other contacts in the Libraries to help with your research
How can the subject specialist help me?
- We have subject specialist librarians for every field of study at Boston College
- They are eager to help assist your research -- clarifying your topic, developing search strategies, finding appropriate sources, and helping you to access materials at BC and elsewhere