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Surviving the history JP: basic advice

Content from this guide may also appear in guides for individual junior seminars.

Common library-related problems

  • I am off campus and need access to Princeton's digital resources.
    See Connect from off campus for detailed instructions on how to set up your computer for remote access.
  • I want an article from a journal, but I can't find it online.
    See Why Can't I Find That Article?
  • I'm having a problem with one of the online databases or an electronic journal.
    First, if you didn't access the database through the link on the library's Databases list, try that. If you are on campus, try a different computer or a different web browser. It sometimes helps to empty your web browser cache. Still have a problem? Use the form at to report the problem: library staff will investigate. Be specific: what browser/operating system are you using? At what time did you encounter a problem? What error messages did you get? Be patient -- this may take some time. If you are not on campus, see the first item above. 
  • The item I want is not owned by Princeton.
    • If Princeton owns the book you need, but it is checked out, consider recalling it.
    • If you don’t have time to wait (ten days for a recall), use Borrow Direct. This service makes it possible for Princeton students to borrow copies of books owned by other Ivy League libraries plus several other important university libraries. Generally, the books arrive within four days.
    • If Borrow Direct cannot supply what you need, you may place an Interlibrary Loan request for the item. Note that most libraries will not lend original documents, rare books, or books that are fragile or already damaged.
  • The item I want is in ... RECAP, Annex, In Process, On Order, In the pre-order process, etc.
    Use the request forms linked from the catalog to place requests for RECAP, Annex, and In Process books. Books described as "on order" or "in the pre-order process" are on order but have not yet arrived at Firestone Library.
  • The item I want is not on the shelf.
    If the item is not charged out, check the catalog record -- are you in the right place? Perhaps the item is oversized or not in Firestone. If you are sure you are in the right place, but the book is missing, place a trace request. Library staff will search for the book and notify you if it is found.
  • I want to see an item that is in Rare Books and Special Collections or Mudd Manuscript Library.
    If you haven't used materials in RBSC before, begin by registering for a research account.   Also consult the RBSC web pages for information on hours, photocopying, and other practical matters.

Librarian for (United States) History & African American Studies

Steven Knowlton