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

Finding Books in the Library Catalog

The main search box on the Library home page will retrieve material from several different sources: the CU Library catalog, article databases, and library web sites.

Once you're in the catalog, you can choose a "simple search" (single search box) or an "advanced search."  

Image: screen shot of an advanced search

The "All Fields" search will retrieve matches for your search terms wherever they appear in the description of an item, but you may use the pulldown menu to the right of the search box to limit to title, author, subject, publisher, or call number.

The Cornell University Library uses Library of Congress Subject Headings as the standard for subject searching.  Limit your search to Subject to retrieve items that contain your terms as part of their LC heading.

Image: example of catalog record with subject headings highlighted

If you find one book relevant to your subject, you can identify others by clicking on the subject heading in the record for that book:

Clicking on the subject heading will reveal more books and films about that same subject.

Historic books and images

Image: screenshot from the "Beautiful Birds" Online Exhibit

Beautiful Birds: an online exhibition. Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library

Finding Books

Image: photo of book shelves in the Cornell Fine Arts Library

The Cornell University Library uses the Library of Congress classification system.

Finding Books in Olin

Pay attention to the call numbers and note whether the material is shelved in the regular, oversized (+), or double oversized (++) sections.

Regular Size Books in Olin Library