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UMW Libraries
Simpson Library | Special Collections

Alumni and Guest Users: UMW Libraries

A guide to UMW Libraries' resources for Alumni and Guest Users

UMW Databases FAQ

I would really like to access UMW Libraries' databases. Is that possible?

Yes! Guest and Alumni patrons may access all of UMW Libraries' databases and other electronic resources on site at Simpson Library by asking to be logged on to a Simpson Library Guest computer. They may also access UMW Libraries' databases if they are logged on to the UMW Guest Wi-Fi.

Want to lean more about the guest computers and library Wi-Fi? Visit the Wireless Networks, Computers, and Printing tab for more information.

Can Alumni and other Guest Patrons access UMW Libraries' databases from their home or workplace?

Unfortunately, alumni and other guests are not able to access UMW Libraries' subscriptions from off-campus locations.

Why not?

Licensing and security restrictions. When we subscribe to databases, the license agreements that we sign require us to limit off-campus database access to current UMW students, staff, and faculty by requiring that they sign in with their current UMW credentials. Unfortunately, this means that Alumni and other Guest patrons are not able to access password-protected databases from off-campus.

What if I pay for a UMW Libraries Guest and Alumni Borrowing Card?

Unfortunately, the licensing and security restrictions still apply for people with guest borrower cards. Alumni and other Guests may use the card to check out materials from the library, but (for the reasons mentioned above), the card does not entitle the holder to off-campus database access.

Are there any exceptions to these restrictions on off-campus database access for Guest and Alumni patrons?

There is one exception: Anyone (including Alumni and other Guest users) can use UMW Libraries' Quest search from off campus. Search Quest to discover which books and other materials are available in the library and which eBooks, electronic journal articles, and more are available through library databases.

**Although Alumni and other Guests can search Quest from off campus, they must still use UMW Libraries' computers or the UMW Guest wireless to access the full text of books and articles.**

What if I need to do research from home or work?

  • Students and faculty of VIVA institutions (including Germanna): Contact library staff at your home institution (the college or university where you work or are currently taking classes)
  • Unaffiliated Guest and Alumni Patrons: Contact your local public library. Scroll down for information about accessing databases through your local public library.

Who should I ask for help when searching in databases?

While in the UMW Libraries, reference librarians can assist you with the online databases. From off-campus, non-UMW patrons should rely on the support of the library staff at their home institution or local Virginia public library.

Do you have a full list of your databases and other electronic resources?

Yes we do! Check out UMW Libraries' A-Z Databases page for a complete list of UMW Libraries' electronic resources.

Find Databases through Your Local Public Library

Google Scholar Search

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. Search across a wide variety of disciplines for articles, dissertations, theses, and more!

Google Scholar is an excellent way to find out which scholarly articles have been published on your topic, especially if you do not have access to library article databases.

While the full article is freely available, Google Scholar provides a direct link. However, many publishers charge for access to the full article, so you may need to visit a nearby public or academic library with an online database subscription that includes the article. You may also be able to use your local library's Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service to request a copy of the article.

Google Scholar Search