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Locating Library Materials Pre-1950

A guide on how to locate pre-1950 materials in our library.

Locating Pre-1950 Materials in DragonQuest

You can locate a variety of older materials by searching DragonQuest, our online library catalog.  It searches all available databases and you can filter your results to include older materials only.  To search for older materials in DragonQuest:

  1. Visit the library home page and type in your search terms into the search bar.
  2. Under "Refine Results" on the left side of the search results screen, slide the bar on the right side under "Publication Date" to include items from before 1950.  You can also slide the left bar to increase or decrease the range of years.
  3. After choosing a source, check the source for availability.  Because older materials are more susceptible to damage, it can be difficult to retrieve the original item.  However, many items are digitized for preservation purposes.  If the original item is unavailable, check for electronic versions.

DragonQuest Search Bar

dragonquest search bar


DragonQuest Search Results Page (Pre-1950 Materials Only)

dq pre-1950 search pages

Despite the fragility of older materials, there are three ways to retrieve an older item:

  • Online access: Many older materials have electronic versions available.  To access an item electronically, click on the "Online Access", "Connect to Resource", or "Connect to Resource Online" button under the search result title.  The icon will look like a yellow piece of paper with an arrow around it.  This will link you to a digitized version of the item.  Some items may also be available by clicking on "View in [Database Name]."  This will display any available holdings of the item.  It is normal if the item's holdings are incomplete or missing years.
  • Request the physical item:  If a physical version of the source is available, there will be a green "Request" icon under the title.  From there, you can select the institution where you would like to pick the item up and you will need to provide your library credentials.
  • Request via Interlibrary Loan: If an item is unavailable in DragonQuest, you can request it through our Interlibrary Loan service.  This will take some time to process, so please allow extra time for this type of request.

Interpreting Journal Holdings

If you are looking for older, scholarly materials on DragonQuest, you should refine your search results to academic journals.  Depending on their availability, it is important to understand your journal results.

Understanding Your Journal Results

Underneath the title of each result, there is a brief description that contains the following:

  • Author
  • Journal title
  • Language
  • Volume and issue number
  • Publisher
  • Publication year
  • Item source (database)
  • Related subjects (these may help you search for related materials)


DragonQuest "Academic Journals" Results Page (Pre-1950)

dq jamestown journals page



Search Results: Journal Articles vs. Entire Journals

While DragonQuest allows users to refine their search results to "academic journals" only, it presents everything under that category.  Some results are journal articles (meaning 1 article out of a journal), while others are entire academic journals related to your search terms.  It can be difficult to distinguish them from one another because they look similar.  Journal articles have a volume and issue number under the title (referring to one specific article within a journal), while academic journals do not.  The image below shows an example of an academic journal result (first) and a journal article (second).


DragonQuest: Academic Journal Result vs. Journal Article Result

dq article vs journal