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Library Orientation Tour

Library orientation tour for STS 1500

About the UVA Library Online Collections


One of the joys of being at an R1 university is that our collection is massive. It’s a huge amount of stuff. I typically tell students that now that you’re at UVA, you have more access to information than you ever have had or maybe will have. It’s a fantastic resource. It can also be really confusing to navigate at first. So again, reach out to the librarians if you need any support. The Ask-A-Librarian chat is great for quick questions about how to find whatever you need in our collection. 


As of hitting upload on this video, we have a little over 9 million items in the collection – only roughly 2/3 of that are books. The rest are manuscripts, newspapers, journals, CD and DVDs, we even have things like coins and globes in the collection. My two favorite unexpected items in our collection is a wedding dress from an alumni and a tiny book that’s so small that it’s covers are two halves of a walnut shell. 


To search for anything we have in our collection, you can access the catalog, that we call Virgo, at []. As long as it’s not in Special Collections, you’re welcome to check out any of these materials. As undergrads, you can check out most items for 30 days (DVDs are limited to one week) but you can renew items as many times as you want. You can also check out up to 500 items at one time. You may not need to check out 500 things this but it’s nice to have the option. 


You also have access to all of the library’s online resources and you will for as long as you’re a student. These include over 800 databases that can be accessed at any time – breaks and summers included, from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection and to go through the Library’s website to Netbadge in – that’s what we call our login page here at UVA. 


To see a list of all of our online materials, there’s a Research tab on the library’s website. This is at <> We list our resources several different ways – by a popular list, using Subject Guides – which are essentially research cheat sheets by subject, and with an A-Z list that features every resource with a short blurb about each one. 


It’s a lot! An absolute mountain of things that offers everything from streaming movies (that database is called Swank – you can find it in the A-Z list or under the Media Studies guide) to academic articles and e-book, technical reports and engineering standards, data sets, and the list really goes on and on. 


Again, reach out to a librarian. There’s so much that it can be overwhelming and we’re here to help with that. 

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