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Finding Full Text: SPU and Beyond

Use this guide to find out how to get the full text of desired books and articles, beginning with the Overview.

Search Summit Libraries

The SPU Library is a member of the Orbis Cascade Alliance of 37 academic libraries located in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. SPU students, faculty, and staff have courier- (but also travel-) based access to most of the millions of books in these collections.

If you need a book to which SPU does not provide access, use the Library catalog set to Search Scope SPU Library + Summit (which is, in fact, the default) to check to see if there are any Orbis Cascade Alliance (or Summit) libraries that own and will loan it.  (Items in, for example, Reference and Special collections tend to be unavailable.)

If you have 5+ business days before you need it, you can order it via Summit Borrowing.

If you need it immediately, you can travel to the owning library and check it out in person, as at the University of Washington below, or at Seattle University (whose electronic resources, however, have—unlike most of those at the University of Washington—been off-limits from on-campus historically).

University of Washington

If you need quick access to something the University of Washington holds, you can visit its libraries directly when open to the public, use its databases, and borrow materials. Library staff there will need to verify that you are currently affiliated with SPU before they can enter a patron record into their own systems.

What you will need:  your SPU ID card.


1)  Go to the Library Account Services Office on the first floor of Suzzallo Library to set up your library account. This Office is open on the days and during the hours specified here.

2) Ask staff to set you up with a Visiting Patron account. Provide them your current SPU ID card. 

Note: You may be asked to log in to your SPU Library account.

What do you have access to?

SPU students have basic access to library services on the University of Washington campus. Basic access to library services includes the ability to

  • check out (and renew) library materials (renewals, when possible, can also be effected remotely);
  • use publicly-accessible computers; and
  • use a personal laptop on the University of Washington campus to access UW wireless (request assistance for wifi access from a UW library Information Desk), and thereby many of its databases, much of its full text, etc.

Finding a Journal or Book in the University of Washington Catalog

SPU students do not have remote access to the UW's subscription databases. However, If you need access to an online journal that the University of Washington holds, you can access the journal (indeed just about any UW database or web-based electronic resource) from your laptop at any point on campus within reach of UW Wireless, or by using one of the UW's public access computers in the Suzzallo and Allen Libraries, as follows:

1) Visit the home page of the University of Washington Libraries, and click, under UW Libraries Search, on Advanced Search:

Screenshot of the home page of the University of Washington Libraries with Advanced Search highlighted.

2) Choose Show Only: UW Libraries, a) enter the title of the journal that you need within quotation marks in the Title field, choose Material Type Journals, and Search.

Screenshot of a Title contains "Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum" search in the Advanced Search sector of the University of Washington catalog.  UW Libraries is selected in the Show Only: menu, and Journals is selected under Material Type.

Or 2b) enter the title of the book you need within quotation marks in the Title field and maybe also the last name of its author in the Author field, and then Search.  Later (or in advance) you can also limit your results to eBooks or Print Books.  Some of the University of Washington's eBooks you should be able to read on campus, but Print Books you can check out and take home:

Screenshot of a Title contains "Theology after Vedanta" AND Author contains Clooney search in the Advanced Search sector of the University of Washington catalog.  UW Libraries is selected in the Show Only: menu, and the search has subsequently been limited to eBooks and Print Books both.

3) Note that in both cases above the University of Washington offers a version on paper and a version online.  The full text of the latter you may be able to consult while on the University of Washington campus.  The the full text of the former, if an Available Print Book, you are free to locate at the library and call number (for example Odegaard Undergraduate Library Stacks B132 .A3 C54 1993), check out, and take home (or, of course, request via the SPU Library + Summit catalog, i.e. Summit Borrowing).  The full text of an article in a volume or issue of a journal-on-paper you may have to scan.

Where else can I go?

In addition to the University of Washington, SPU students can also borrow books from Seattle University (not to mention any Orbis Cascade Alliance or Summit institution) directly when open to the public.