The Researcher’s Guide to Perusing UC Libraries’ Virtual Stacks

Written by Chris Pasion, graduate assistant to The Graduate School.

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UC Libraries have altered their services due to COVID-19, with the physical locations on campus operating at a limited capacity. The study spaces have been greatly reduced to ensure proper social distancing, and the stacks are closed for perusing in most circumstances. Despite this, most library resources have been made available in ways that eliminate the need to go to campus at all. You can still access the plethora of volumes, manuscripts, and resources that the libraries have to offer in other ways. In order to still provide their resources to everyone, UC’s libraries have adapted to an online format, with digital collections, virtual research databases, and many other assets all available to students remotely. This guide will give you a glimpse into what you can expect to find online.

If you’re in need of help writing an important paper (i.e. your dissertation or thesis), UC Libraries have created a guides page that you will likely find very helpful. This website is tailored specifically to graduate students; it provides information on relevant topics such as composing a literature review, managing research data, citing sources in a publication, and presenting your work, to name a few. Within these pages, there are resources related to each topic, including videos, applications and online tools, as well as further reading that you can find in the online databases. There is something here for everyone, whether you’re a doctoral student, a teaching assistant, or just need some help with your writing or research. If you need further assistance with your writing, check out the resources offered by the Academic Writing Center.

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The Triceracopter in Langsam Library.

Another great online resource offered by the libraries is the Digital Collections & Repositories page, which is home to the most interesting and eccentric special collections across campus, all gathered in one online space. This is a multidisciplinary treasure trove of research possibilities (as well as a place to get lost in deep rabbit holes of information) with collections from Langsam Library, the Archives and Rare Books Library, the CCM, DAAP, and Science & Engineering libraries, and the Henry R. Winkler Center. Here you can find collections that come from specific figures on campus (such as the first man on the moon and one-time UC professor Neil Armstrong), as well as historical information about the city of Cincinnati and many other interesting topics. For example, if you’ve ever been curious about that massive Triceracopter statue hanging out in the back of Langsam, there is a collection entirely devoted to it

One other key resource that is offered by the libraries is Research & Data Services, which researchers will find to be a particularly important asset. Research & Data Services specializes in providing students with the tools to properly interpret, manage, and publish research data. They have specialists that can help with geographic information systems (GIS), statistical analysis tools, and many other data management resources. In addition, Research & Data Services have upcoming events (such as UC Data Day) and workshops that are available upon request.

If you need help navigating the online space or finding a specific resource, UC Libraries offers a Chat service where you can be connected with a librarian or staff member (between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday-Friday) to seek assistance. You can also find subject librarians with expertise in many of the disciplines on campus, each of which can help provide further resources and support that is directly related to what you are researching. And if you still need access to the physical copy of a text, you can request it from the libraries via the Click & Collect pickup service. Visit to learn about all the resources that UC Libraries have to offer.