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REL C303/R532 Superheroes and Religion

A guide to help students in Prof. Candy Brown's Religion C-303 - Superheroes and Religion class

Finding Books

This page lists several free methods of finding books, journals, magazines, newspapers, maps, etc. See the table below to help determine what method to use.

Method What's there Why use it
IUCAT Books, journals, maps, etc. already at IU (both physical copies and e-resources)  Covers most topics, materials often immediately available
Worldcat Books, journals, maps, etc. that may or may not be at IU Covers all topics, can find material regardless whether IU happens to own it
Interlibrary Loan Use this service to order materials that are unavailable at IU (either because IU doesn't own it or it is checked out) Use alongside Worldcat or when you don't find a book, journal, etc. in IUCAT
Google Books Books and journals that Google has scanned from many Library collections. Many items are available only in preview or snippet view. Ideal for journals and books in the public domain (usually published before 1923). Preview can help locate particularly useful sections.
Hathitrust Scanned books and journals, often the same materials as Google Books Navigation is often more cumbersome than Google Books, but locating specific journal issues is often easier

Video Tutorials


IUCAT basic search page

Use IUCAT to find most of the physical and electronic items that are held at IU. 

Important notes:
  1. Physical items (i.e. not online resources) have different locations. Many are at an IUB library, but others are at regional campuses. You can request any circulating item be delivered to the library of your choice (or to a campus mailbox) regardless of its location. Simply click "Request This" at the top of an IUCAT record. Note that it will be faster to retrieve IUB books on your own, except books with a location of "Auxiliary Library Facility," which must be requested using the "Request This" button.
    IUCAT record highlighting "request this," "holdings," and "status"
  2. If an item is already checked out, its due date is listed under "Location." If no other copies are available, it is recommended you use Interlibrary Loan, but you can also recall the item (N.B. Interlibrary Loan is often faster than recall).
  3. Loan periods vary depending on the patron's status (e.g. graduate student, undergraduate student, etc.) and the physical item. For more information, click here.
  4. Unless a book has been recalled, you can renew most books an infinite number of times and you can do so by signing in to IUCAT and then clicking on "my account."
Some handy features of IUCAT:
  1. Text a call number: you can send the call number to your phone so you don't need to remember or write it down.
  2. Folders, which are especially helpful when you are preparing for a major paper or for comprehensive exams.
  3. Limiters: on the left-hand side of an IUCAT search, you can limit your results based on many factors, including publication date, location, or subject.

Search IUCAT:

Homepage of Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a relatively fast and free service to have books, articles, journals, etc. delivered from another library somewhere in the world to IU Bloomington. You can also use UBorrow, which is similar to ILL, but the books arrive more quickly and you can keep them longer.

While IUCAT lists material available within the libraries on IU campuses, Worldcat collects catalog information from libraries around the world. It also lists which libraries hold what materials, so you can use it to see if books are held at IU. Worldcat can serve many functions, including:

  1. Helping you fill out ILL requests (see image below)
  2. Confirming titles/ISBNs/etc. for IUCAT searches or citations
  3. Finding materials that you otherwise wouldn't find in IUCAT or other catalogs

As noted above, Worldcat is especially helpful for Interlibrary Loan requests. In fact, it can even populate your ILL request for you (assuming you are on an IU wifi network or using IU VPN). Simply verify that the item is not held at IU and then click "Request via ILL." See image below.

In Worldcat, verify that a title is not held by IU, then click "Request via ILL" to have Worldcat populate your ILL request for you

Everyone is familiar with Google Books. Even though many books are only available in "preview" mode, it can be a lifesaver. Use it alongside a print copy of a book to find particularly relevant sections to read or glance at an introduction at home before deciding whether to check the book out from the library.

Note that material in the public domain is available in full text.

Google Book Search

Like Google Books, students can use Hathitrust to find the full-text of out-of-copyright books and journals. Unlike Google Books, it is easy to determine which journal volumes are available in Hathitrust (just click "catalog record"), but Hathitrust sometimes responds more slowly than Google Books.