Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
print page banner

Rita Benton Music Library

The Beatles: Home

The BEATLES at the Music Library

Finding Books at the Library

The Library's search tool is called InfoHawk+. It can be used to find books, articles, recordings, and much more. 

To search for books, I recommend two methods.

METHOD #1: Turn search Focus ON.
This will remove articles from search results. Enter search terms, and in the results screen, check "Books" in the left hand menu. This will result in records for physical books and online or e-books.

METHOD #2: Use the "Advanced Search" (link just below the search box).

Find the advanced search link, use the dropdown for Subject and enter your search terms, then use the drop-down menu to select the Material Type "Books". This will results in records for physical books and online or e-books.

A few search tricks and tips that I can recommend are:

1. Use quotation marks when searching for titles or phrases. For example, entering Please Please Me in a search will return all results that contain either the words Please or Me. Entering "Please Please Me" will return results that contain the full phrase, such as the the Beatles album of that name.

2. Look beyond the book title. Sometimes book titles tell you exactly what you need to know about what's inside. Sometimes book titles only provide a small amount of information concerning the book's contents. Chapter titles, online summaries, or indexes of terms at the back of books can help you skim a book to determine its relevance to your topic or argument.

3. Develop keywords that relate to your topic. This will help you to reach beyond the basic information about your album to explore influences, social movements, political 

Finding Articles in Databases and other Online Tools

Entertainment and Music Databases

These two databases contain magazine and journal articles from music, radio, film, and other entertainment publications.

A few tips for searching these databases:

date slider in a proquest database1. If looking for reporting on the Beatles while the band was active, be sure to use the date sliders or selectors to search for articles published in the 1960s.

2. You can limit your search by article type, so if you want to find feature articles or reviews, you can search for one or the other.

3. Look at the information ABOUT an article, not just the information IN the article. Who wrote it? Did they write a lot about the Beatles, or rock music, or popular culture? What magazine or journal published it? When was it published? All this information will help you to better understand the content of the article and how or why it was written.

Billboard

Billboard is a magazine that publishes entertainment news, and in particular, music charts that use album and song sales and streams to create a ranked list of popularity. 

I recommend looking at a few charts from the 1960s to see where the Beatles appear and who else was charting at the same time. 

Newspapers

If you are looking for newspaper articles from the 1960s, here are two historical newspapers that might interest you.

The first is the Times (London), which has been in publication since 1795. Since the Beatles hail from England, it will be helpful to hear from the Brits about the band.

The second is the New York Times, which has been in publication since 1851. Coverage of events like the concert at Shea Stadium and other major U.S. tours are likely to be found in this version of the Times.

The Libraries subscribes to other major historical newspapers, and you can see a full list here

A few tips for searching newspapers:

1. Use the date range tool to narrow down your results. If you want to know about the Shea Stadium concert, for example, you could narrow your results to the summer of 1965. Always place your date range a little bit around the event you want to read about, as there might be announcements and late reviews or responses to reviews that follow the event.

2. You'll likely turn up results that are advertisements, radio listings, and other items that merely mention "The Beatles" but don't really discuss or report on anything in-depth. That's OK! Often, databases will tag such items so you can work around them. Look for ways to sort your search so that it returns articles and weeds out passing reference items, like ads.

Subject Guide

Katie Buehner's picture
Katie Buehner
Contact: Website