Catalogs: Learn to search library catalogs effectively to locate books and other relevant materials

What to do if it's not available

If the catalog record indicates that the material is "charged," it means that someone else has signed out the book. When you click on "request," the system figures out the fastest way to get it to you. If it's a recall, that takes about two weeks. Borrow Direct is the fastest delivery:

If we do not have a book in our holdings, or if the book you need is already checked out: Borrow Direct

Click on the link to connect to Borrow Direct, search for the book and if it's available from another Ivy League university (plus: Johns Hopkins, MIT, Duke, University of Chicago, & Stanford), and we will have it shipped to Cornell. The borrowing period is for eight weeks, renewable once. Books arrive in 3-4 business days.

If we do not have an item that you need (any item -- journal article, DVD, dissertation, etc.): Interlibrary Loan Services

Use ILLiad (InterLibrary Loan Internet Accessible Database) to request that we borrow materials from other libraries or have articles scanned for you. Loan period is usually one month. Items can arrive in as little as a few days (or even the next day, in the case of scans) to a couple of weeks (This service will not work for items that Cornell already owns, but are checked out by other borrowers).

Annex Requests

The Library Annex is our off-site storage location (it's on Palm Road, near the the Cornell Orchards). You can request to have those books and journals delivered to a library on campus. Deliveries are made mornings, Monday-Friday, usually about a day after you make the request. Here's how to request annex items:

  1. Retrieve the catalog record of the item in question.
  2. Click on Request item.
  3. Unless you've already logged in, you'll be prompted for your netid and password.
  4. Using the pull-down menu, choose "Book Delivery Services."

The Annex also has its own reading room. The address is Palm Road, off Route 366, and the hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm.

Art & Architecture ePortal

Image: screen shot of Art & Architecture ePortal home page

The Art & Architecture ePortal is a collection of key backlist and out-of-print scholarly works in the fields of art and architectural history published by: The Art Institute of Chicago, The MIT Press, Yale University Press, Harvard Art Museums, and the Yale University Art Gallery.

The portal allows browsing of all images (by artist, title, or date)

Instructors may easily create custom coursepacks.


Image: screenshot of Cornell University Library catalog search filters

Looking for books not held by Cornell

Image: book spines

Looking for books not held by Cornell? Try the WorldCat (part of OCLC FirstSearch) database.

Image Screen shot of WorldCat search option in FirstSearch interface

Looking for illustrated books

An illustrated book will have at least one of the following terms in the Description field:

ill. (for "illustrated"), maps, pl. (plates), col. (color), plans

Here are two examples:

x, 414 p. illus., diagrs., 23 col. plates. tables. 26 cm.

71 p. illus., 9 pl., 2 col. maps. 25 cm.

Commonly-used subject headings for illustrated books include:

pictorial works