Services for Humanities Grad Students

Searching Catalyst, the library catalog

Catalyst Search

Advanced Search – Catalyst

Requesting Materials in Catalyst

You can use the search box above to search and request materials in Catalyst, the discovery tool (i.e., catalog) of the JHU Libraries (also available through at this link). If you need a specific book, article, or journal, you may wish to use the Citation Linker (formerly known as FindIT), which allows for resources to be searched by a number of unique IDs such as DOI and ISBN in addition to other fields:


Regardless of how you choose to search for materials in the library at JHU, all electronic materials should be available for immediate access using your JHED, the same single sign on credentials you use to access your JHU email and other apps featured on my.jh.eduPrint materials, regardless of whether they circulate or not, can be requested for check out or in-library use. To do so, you must first sign in with your JHED under "Get It" in any given print record: 

Once you've authenticated, you can call up print materials that circulate by clicking the "Request from JH" button: 

You can request that those materials which do not circulate (e.g., special collections materials) be called up for consultation in the special collections reading room in the Brody Learning Commons (BLC), among other locations, by clicking the "Request In-library Use": 

Copies of materials which are owned by JHU but which are currently unavailable can be requested through BorrowDirect or Interlibrary Loan: 

When in doubt about which to use, opt for Interlibrary Loan, since BorrowDirect items can be acquired through this form.

Interlibrary Loan can also be used to request scans of book chapters and journal articles (provided they adhere to Fair Use), even those held locally at JHU. You can access the corresponding forms under, the "Get Materials" tab, and "Interlibrary Loan": 

If your request is approved, you will be notified by email when it arrives and directed to the PDF.

For information about accessing materials on course reserves, please see immediately below.


If you are accessing required materials for a course you're taking, consult Ares, the course reserve system at JHU. If you are an instructor at JHU and wish to have materials made available for students enrolled in your course, please consult this page. Because it can take some time to have course materials uploaded and made available by reserves, we strongly recommend submitting your syllabus by the posted deadline. For any doubts, write directly to 

Request a Purchase

If you wish to request a purchase, please write to the academic liaison to your department. When in doubt, please write to The librarian on duty will then route your request to the appropriate liaison. 

Electronic books and digital surrogates

You can facet a search in Catalyst to show only electronic books. We recommend using the following facets highlighted in green below: 

Many digital surrogates (i.e., scans) of books that are in the public domain (those typically published before about 1928) are not in Catalyst, but can be accessed freely in full through the following resources: 

For assistance acquiring a digital surrogate to something you believe is in the public domain, please consult your liaison. 

Streaming Resources

Though all streaming resources licensed or owned by JHU are supposed to have item-level records in Catalyst, new materials are not always uploaded immediately after we gain access. Moreover, the availability of streaming resources used in academic libraries is in a constant state of flux (like commercial platforms we cannot license like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.). We therefore encourage patrons to browse the various streaming platforms under the "Streaming Media" section under the Film and Media database list. If a film which you need for teaching and/or research is unavailable, please write to your academic liaison for guidance.


JHU subscribes to a remarkable array of databases. They can be browsed by discipline under by clicking on the "Databases" tab and "Browse List of Database":


Some of the resources contained within specialty databases in the humanities we license through JHU are not aggregated as individual item records in Catalyst, so we encourage you to explore databases directly. 

Discipline-specific Research Guides

If you need an overview to a subject in which you are not expert, we recommend exploring JHU's research guides (known colloquially as "LibGuides"), which are designed by JHU Academic Liaisons primarily for upper-level undergraduates. These can be browsed by a number of criteria, including subject: