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History 158 (Quinn): Home

Iran's history prior to 1900 C.E.

Accessing Full-Text

In many databases, full-text may be immediately available via a pdf or html page. 

If full-text is not directly available, look for the UC-eLinks button to check for full-text elsewhere OR to request through Interlibrary Loan.  Your UCMnetID functions as your library card number on the Request screen. 

If you have a citation and/or the UC-eLinks button is not available, use the appropriate Request form (#3) on the Interlibrary Loan page. 

Citing Sources

If citations/references are exporting to RefWorks, you can use the Bibliography feature to create a list of citations.  Various format are available including APA.  You can also use Tools > Preview Output Style to see how the format looks for a specific style.

RefWorks & Citing Sources from the UC Merced Library.  A tutorial is included.  Watch News & Events for upcoming RefWorks workshops.

Finding Known Items

1) Melvyl

  • includes a wide range of formats and goes beyond UC's collection
  • can Request easily from records in this catalog

2) Google Scholar

  • includes many articles and references to books, a quick way to check for article titles though it is not exhaustive
  • includes citations from JSTOR

3) HathiTrust Digital Library

  • citations and some full-text, search a large collection of digitized books etc.
  • a Title search is available
  • featured collection Islamic Manuscripts (Michigan), mainly in Arabic
  • additional public collections for browsing

Databases & Catalogs

Databases > Subject Areas > World History

Index Islamicus

  • some Descriptors, no Thesaurus
  • citations are taken from 3,000+ journals
  • focused on Islamic and Middle East studies

Historical Abstracts

  • on the EBSCO platform
  • includes the ability to limit to a specific time frame, see Historical Period limit options

HathiTrust Digital Library

  • some full views, and others are limited (search-only)
  • find in a Library, goes to regular WorldCat though it will present a UC-eLinks hyperlink

Next Generation Melvyl

  • search is more "Google-like"
  • searches UC Merced, UC Libraries, Libraries Worldwide
  • includes various formats
  • use facets on the left to refine the results list e.g. Language, Publication type
  • ? is the truncation symbol
  • subject headings show on the detailed item display e.g. Iran--History--Qajar dynasty, 1794-1925


  • use Advanced search to select Articles only
  • options to select collections of journals based on subject area
  • date range is for data of publication ONLY
  • some fields available for searching including abstract, titles etc.


  • option to search Articles only
  • numerous search fields
  • some subject headings, check for date information
  • a few Middle East Studies, Philosophy, and Religion journals etc.


  • search for images
  • e.g. browse Geography category for Iran to view images of art from various centuries

Search Strategies

1) Consider that your search strategy -- may vary depending on the scope of the search tool you are using. 

2) Names and places may have variations on spelling which should be in included in a search.  OR the terms together. E.g. mongols OR mughals

3) Join similar terms or synonyms together with OR. Example:  rite* OR sacrific* OR ceremon* OR ritual*.  Join dissimilar terms together with AND. e.g. Amenians AND "silk trade".  Use " " to search for phrases.

4) To narrow to a specific time period, you will often have to rely on the description of period e.g. "golden age"; unique individual names, e.g. Ghazan Khan; subject headings e.g. su:Art, Safavid Iran. etc. to draw materials from the time frame you want. 

5) Subject headings or Descriptors can be important if a search tool supports them well. e.g. su:Iran History Safavid dynasty, 1501-1736.

6) Truncation can be used to search for multiple words based on a specific stem. e.g. cermon* will include ceremony, ceremonies, ceremonial etc.

Reference Materials

Visit Databases & Articles --> By Format --> Reference

Use reference collections of specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks etc, for background information or definitions.  Some entries will include short bibliographies.

Examples of Collections:

Credo Reference

Oxford Reference

Additional Reference Works:

Encyclopaedia of Islam

link special font for display

Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an

  • e.g. entries on terms, concepts such as honey, paradise

The Columbia Gazatteer of the World (current)

  • e.g. Fasa
  • also includes a glossary of geographics/geological terms used in Gazetteer entries

Historical Maps of the Middle East (Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection, U of T Austin)

Library Instructor

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Sara Davidson Squibb
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