Islam & the Islamic World

IC Library Print & Media Resources

Selected Subject Searches

     Note: These Subject Headings attempt to be wide-ranging but also must follow the contours of the IC Library collection.  This sometimes results in omissions and asymmetries rooted in the collection--or my oversight.  Remember that numerous as they appear, these headings are representative.  Still more are available in the Library catalog and from the subscription databases.

Muḥammad, Prophet, d. 632
Koran--Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Islam Islam--History
Islamic law  [Sharia]
Shīʻah--Customs and practices
ʻAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, Caliph, 600 (ca.)-661
Islam--Controversial literature
Islam--20th century
Islam--21st century
Islamic modernism

Islamic civilization
Civilization, Arab
Islam and humanism
Arabic literature--History and criticism
Calligraphy, Islamic
Art, Islamic
Islamic music--History and criticism
Islam and civil society
Women in Islam Islam in mass media
Al Jazeera (Television Network)
Islam and science
  Bin Laden, Osama, 1957-
Terrorism--Religious aspects--Islam
September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001
September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001--Influence
War on Terrorism, 2001-
Terrorism--United States
Terrorism--Government policy--United States
Terrorism--United States--Prevention
Terrorism in mass media
Islam and state Islamic Empire--History
Islamic Empire--History--661-750
Islamic Empire--History--750-1258
War--Religious aspects--Islam

Arab countries--Politics and government
Arab countries--Politics and government--1945-
Arab countries Social conditions
Arab countries--Social life and customs
National characteristics, Arab
Arab nationalism
Middle East--Ethnic relations
Middle East--History--1517-
Middle East--Politics and government
Middle East--Politics and government--1979-
Middle East--Religion
Middle East--Social conditions
Middle East--Social life and customs
Religion and politics--Middle East
Arab-Israeli conflict
Persian Gulf Region--Politics and government
Persian Gulf States--Politics and government
Saudi Arabia--History
Saudi Arabia--Politics and government
Iran--History--Revolution, 1979
Iran--Social conditions
Iran--Social life and customs
Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988
Iraq--Foreign relations--United States
Iraq--Politics and government--2003-
Persian Gulf War, 1991
Persian Gulf War, 1991--Religious aspects
Iraq War, 2003-
Iraq War, 2003---Causes
Iraq War, 2003---Mass media and the war.
Afghanistan--Foreign relations--United States
Afghanistan--Politics and government--1989-2001
Afghanistan--Politics and government--2001-
Afghan War, 2001-
Turkey--Politics and government
India--Ethnic relations
Bangladesh--Politics and government--1971-
Pakistan--Politics and government
Indonesia--Social conditions

IC Library Databases (Articles)

Selected Databases

     ATLA religion database with ATLASerials : Our discipline-specific database for religion research.  Setting search limits on the home page is a good idea if you are looking specifically for journal articles (under "publication type" select "article" to eliminate books and essays in books, which will not be available full text) or if you read only English (under Language select "English" to eliminate retrievals in other languages).
     Subject searching is available--just open the "Select a Field" drop-down menu to the right of the search slots.  And you can preview the Subject Headings available here by clicking on "Indexes" above the search slots and selecting "Subjects All."  Not only will this allow you to confirm Subject Headings, but for each one you will be given a "count" of how many records have been assigned it, so you can see in advance where the greatest number of resources are available for your topic.  Among those available here are Islam, Islam and State, Islam and Hinduism, Islam--Africa, Islam--Europe, Islam--Relations, Islamic History, Islamic Learning, Islamic Religious Practice, Islamic Revival, and Islamic Theology.
     General OneFile : is the most user-friendly of our comprehensive databases, covering almost any topic from a wide range of disciplinary angles and offering lots of full text.  Use the default Subject search to find the best subject heading for your topic (and when you find a good one be sure to look at the "Related Subjects" to see if there's something even better).
     After finding the best Subject term--and these include Islam, Islamic Sects, Islamic Law, Islamic Countries, Islam and Politics, Muslims, Muslim Women, and Christian-Muslim Relations  --use the “Subdivisions” link below it for focus.  These allow you to target articles on a particular aspect of the topic, including "Beliefs," “Ethical Aspects,”"History,"  “Political Aspects,” and “Social Aspects.”
      If the best available subdivision is still too broad, open it and add your own Keywords in the "Search within these results" slot at the upper left.      User Advisory: When first viewing your retrievals in General OneFile, note that you are seeing onlythe "Magazines" (popular articles) and must click on the tabs for "Academic Journals" (scholarly articles) or "News" (newspaper articles) to see those results. 

     ProQuest Research Library : is another comprehensive database with substantial full text.  Use the "Thesaurus" (above the search slots) to preview what Subject Headings are available.  Subect searching can be a more efficient way to search than with only Keywords, since it guarantees that the articles retrieved actually be about the Subject--not just use a particular word. Among available Subject Headings are Islam, Islamic Life & Ethics, Islamic Law, Islamic Culture, Islam and State, Muslims, and Muslim Americans.
     Note that to the right of your search results you can limit your retrieval by "Source Type" (including Magazines, Newspapers, Scholarly Journals),  "Document Type," (including Cover Story, Editorial, or Interview), "Document Feature" (including Photographs, Illustrations), and "Location."
     Above each set of articles you retrieve ProQuest will display related Subject searches to help either broaden or narrow your focus.
     User Advisory: ProQuest is fussy about entering Subject searches in the designated search slot. If your subject is a person, enter the name--last name first--in the "Person" slot, for example, Ahmadinejad, Mahmoud; if a place enter it in "Location," for example, Iran.

      Academic Search Premier  Comprehensive subject coverage with considerable full text.  Note that there is a “Subject Terms” link just above the search boxes, allowing you to search the index of Subject Headings--often a good first stop for more efficient Subject searching whereby you are guaranteed that your topic is indeed a main subject of the articles retrieved.      A good initial strategy in this database is to search a likely topic in the Subject Terms and when you find it “explode” the term by double clicking it--this brings up a list of related Subject terms.  You can check as many terms as you like before "adding" them to your search by AND-ing or OR-ing them together.  Among those available here are Islam, Muslims, Islam & State, Islam--Customs & Practices, Islam--Doctrines, Islamic Fundamentalism, Women in Islam, and Islamic Sects.
     User Advisory: For any retrieved set of articles, there will be a box displayed on the left that will limit the articles to “Scholarly” journals—just check the box and click the “Update Results” button below.

      JSTOR : covers a wide range of scholarly journals in most disciplines, always beginning with the first issue of each one.  This provides (almost) 100% full text access to articles from not only the first half of the 20th century but even the second half of the 19th.  (This is our only database where you can retrieve scholarly articles on Islam across a wide range of disciplines published in the 1900-1970 period.)  Be aware, however, that at the other end of the date range articles don't appear full text in JSTOR until at least 2-3 years after publication.
     JSTOR offers only a Keyword search of its complete full text, so retrievals are large, but the relevancy ranking does a good job of putting the strongest matches on the first few pages.  This relevancy ranking does not weigh date, however, and will display a mix of articles written decades apart.  So if your topic is time sensitive, be alert to publication dates.
     User Advisory: The academic journals covered here feature numerous book reviews, so it's a good idea to tick the "Article" limit below the search slots so you won't be overwhelmed by book reviews on your topic.  
     Also note the "Date Range" limit, which in a database with an archive this deep can be very useful.
     Also also note: When running Keyword searches, especially in a database that covers 150 years, be aware of different terms that may have been used over time, as well as different spellings of the same term.  For example, Muslims may also be referred to as Moslems, and in the 19th century the terms Mohammedan (and Mohammedanism) were widely used, as was Mussulman.  And then as now the Quran might also be written Qur'an or spelled Koran.

    Project Muse , although a smaller database, it complements JSTOR. LIke JSTOR it provides 100% full text of mostly scholarly journals, but its coverage is entirely current--mainly spanning the last 10-15 years.  Muse uses a "black box" search approach--you enter your search terms in one slot with no designated field options--but in addition to slapping in keywords, you can use the same Library of Congress Subject Headings that work in the Library catalog (see above under "Subject Searches").  This broad approach to searching tends to generate large retrievals, so it's best to be as specific as possible.  And note--once you have a retrieval set, you can add more search terms by clicking "Modify Search" at the top.

      Philosopher's Index : No full text, but the “ArticleLinker” arrows at the end of each citation will connect to scholarly full text in our other databases--making this an efficient one-stop search for ethics, political philosophy, metaphysics, and logic.  Try Islam, Islamic or Muslim as a Descriptor and then add keywords for focus.

     AnthroSource : Open "Advanced" search and for an overview of the articles here put Islam Muslims in the "at least one of the words" slot.  This database is particularly strong on Islam's cultural traditions and mores.

     LexisNexis Academic  News:  Offering a keyword search of 100% full text from a vast number of national and international newspapers, this is an easy database to use poorly and a bit tricky to use well. In order not to be overwhelmed with articles in which your search terms are mentioned anywhere—first or last paragraph—or any number of times—once or ten times—use commands to target articles in which your topic words are mentioned early or mentioned often.
     Use the hlead command (headline and lead paragraphs) to target articles in which your topic words occur in the prime news-story position of headline or first paragraphs. For example: hlead(fracking and pollution) will retrieve just the articles in which the words “fracking” and “pollution” are used in the headline or first paragraphs. Note: the term or terms to which you want this command to apply must be put in parentheses after hlead, with no space between.
     Use the altleast command to target articles in which your topic words occur a set number of times. For example: atleast5(“gay marriage”) will retrieve only the articles where this phrase is used at least 5 times—indicating that it must be a main topic. You can plug in any number after atleast—atleast3 or atleast7. Note: the term or terms to which you want this command to apply must be put in parentheses with no space between the number you choose and the first parenthesis.
     Use the date range offered under Advanced Options. Because this is a large database of 100% full text, one of the most effective ways to retrieve fewer than 1000 hits is to set up a time frame. Note: if you use the calendar icons to set beginning and end dates, you need to choose a year, a month, and a day for each. Without the day, the date won’t register.

Contact Us

picture of Lisabeth Chabot

Lisabeth Chabot

College Librarian
(607) 274-3182

Search Argos

CQ Researcher

CQ Researcher  is a weekly publication with each issue devoted to a single topic.  Among the issues relevant to Islam over the last decade are--
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Reference Resources

Print Reference

Note: The print reference collection is located in the back right-hand corner of the Library's main floor as you enter.

Introduction to the world's major religions: Islam
Human rights and the world's major religions: The Islamic Tradition
Encyclopedia of religion: Islam (extensive overview and by country) & Islamic Law
Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World
Encyclopaedia of Islam
New Encyclopedia of Islam
Oxford Dictionary of Islam
Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World
Cambridge History of Islam
Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World
Dictionary of Art: Islamic Art (enormous number of particular articles)

Web Resources

Selected Web Sites

  • Internet Islamic History Sourcebook: Part of Paul Halsall's Internet History Sourcebooks project at Fordham, this is one of the best gateways to Islamic resources on the Web.  Very comprehensive and well categorized.
  • Islamweb: Web Guides: from the University of North Carolina, this is a compact gateway to other gateway sites.
  • Islam and Islamic Studies Resources: from Dr. Alan Godlas of the Department of Religion at the University of Georgia, this is an excellent gateway, if a little dense in its layout.  Best bet is to scroll down to the table of categorized contents.
  • from the Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project, I've linked to the Browse Library page where on the left you'll find a handy alphabetized index of articles and multimedia resources.  Also visit the Discover Islam page and particularly note "Resources for Further Research."
  • Al-Khazina: Princeton database for the study of Islamic culture.  Some of the links beginning to decay, but still some worthwhile resources.
  • IslamOnline: This is an Al Jazeera news distributor.  Or try the English version of Al Jazeera itself.
  • The Koran: from the University of Michigan, this offers a variety of search options.

Think Tanks & Research Institutes

Think Tanks & Research Institutes: A short collection of resources that can access these often influential contributions to public policy debate. 

Web Directories

    Web Directories differ from search engines like Google in that all the online resources have been selected and annotated by editors, thereby promising a much higher degree of quality control.  

Citation Help

MLA Citation

MLA is the citation style used by most disciplines in the Humanities. Here is my guide to the latest (2016) update of the MLA style.