A list of works cited gives you a snapshot of the thinking & research available at the time of publication. It tells you what ideas or theories have influenced a researcher. Looking at the works cited by an author is called 'backward citation searching'.
When you have a citation for a book, you should search the library catalog to see if Williams owns it. Let's use a popular example:
Nairn, Tom. Faces of Nationalism: Janus Revisited. London: New York: Verso, 1997.
Find books, articles, & more
If you already have a citation, start by searching for the citation in the library catalog. To keep your results manageable, enter at least the title and the author's last name.
If you find a result, use the or options to find the article in print or online.
Remember to "expand your results" on the left side of the page to include non full-text citations.
If Williams does not own a copy, you can use the "request from interlibrary loan" link to borrow a copy from another library.