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Research Guides

Essay: The Natural World

Library resources to support reading, researching, and writing essays.

heron in flight

On the Natural World

Browse the shelves

  • Browse the 1st Floor Reference Collection.  
    These books stay in the library (use the photocopier if you find something you like).
  • If you find an especially interesting area, note the call number range and browse that range on the 3rd floor.  These books can be checked out.  

Some things you would find in the QHs and QLs:

  • Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia (2nd ed., 17 volumes)
     1st Floor Reference QL 7 .G7813 2003

    "Some reviewers call Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia the best reference work on animals ever published...  Thorough articles familiarize readers with animals found everywhere on the globe, detailing their life cycles, predators, food systems, overall ecology and much more. " 
  • Encyclopedia of the Biosphere
     3rd Floor QH 343.4 .B5613 2000 (11 volumes)
    Encyclopedia of the Biosophere features comprehensive coverage of the earth’s greatest ecosystems, their characteristics and their operations. Moreover, the Encyclopedia explains for students and general researchers how these ecosystems have been transformed by human activity, while presenting the main species of the planet."
  • Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior
    3rd Floor QL750.3 .E53 2004   
     "What is it like to be a dog, or a chimpanzee, or an ant? How do animals communicate? Why do they play? Can animals feel emotions like empathy and grief? 


Browse the Library Online

Browse HamCAT
Almost everything the library has, including articles, books, newspaper articles, streaming videos, and government documents. Try narrowing your search to a specific subject or type of information with the filters on the left. e.g.

  • Resource Type, e.g. Reference Entries
  • Discipline
  • Publication Date

Browse a Subject-specific Database

Browse Online Archives

Google Books  
This is the product of the controversial digitization projects that Google is doing in cooperation with several large, significant research libraries, including Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford universities (more information on Google books).  You can see the full text (scanned image) of everything in here if the copyright has expired.  Includes books and magazines.

Hathi Trust
Includes the Google collection of digitized books.  However, they continue to add materials from other partners. A much more powerful interface.  

Internet Archive
A large, amazing and quirky collection that includes books, images, concert audio, old movies.  More information on the Internet Archive.  Browse history via websites with The Wayback Machine 

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)
"Brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science."

Like the DPLA, only for Europe. 

Macaulay Library:  Large archive of bird and animal audio and video recordings.