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Ancient Near East: Basic Research Tips

Resources for Finding Books and Articles

Below is a selection of resources useful for finding material on ancient Near Eastern topics.

Subject Guide

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Chris Benda
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To schedule a training session on strategies for searching one or more of the databases contact Chris Benda.

Library Catalog and WorldCat

Subject headings and call numbers are assigned to books and other material added to library collections to describe and organize the intellectual content. Using subject headings and call numbers provides an efficient path to relevant material.

How do I know what subject headings to use?  The subject headings assigned to material aren't always obvious.  It can be useful to start with a title you already know, search it in Library Catalog, and see what subject headings appear on the record.  See, e.g., the subject headings (labeled Subject (LC)) for Civilizations of the Ancient Near East.

Note: Ancient Near East is NOT a subject heading used by most U.S. libraries. Instead, you should use Middle East

More specific headings (e.g., names of countries) may also be useful; e.g.,

Egypt - Civilization - To 332 B.C.

What about call numbers?  The call number is another lead to related works.  You can browse the shelves physically as well as in Library Catalog (the latter option shows you what's in the Annex or checked out).

Call numbers for the Ancient Near East are most often in the DS (Asia) and PJ (Oriental Languages and Literature) ranges, but may also be found in BF (Psychology), BL (Religion), BS (Bible), DT (Africa), HQ (Family, Marriage, Women), KL (Law), and N (Fine Arts).

A cautionary note: books with more than one subject can only be located in one place so may not be placed on the shelves beside other books on the topic.