CU Library Catalog

Image: screenshot of the Cornell University Library basic search box

This is the default search as seen from the library home page.

For more advanced searching, use the Basic Search first, and then select the 'Advanced Search' in the right hand of the screen to find more specific search options (find sources by Title, Author/Creator, and Call Number, for example).

Annex Requests

The Library Annex is our off-site storage location. You can request to have those books and journals delivered to a library on campus. Here's how to request annex items:

Retrieve the catalog record of the item in question. Click on 'Request.' Unless you've already logged in, Cornell users will be prompted for your netid and password. Select a pick-up location using the drop-down menu and press 'Submit delivery request.' Use this same process to request delivery of books from one library to another.

The Annex also has its own reading room. The address is Palm Road, off Route 366. Check the website for full hours of operation (usually Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm)

What to do if a book isn't available

If the catalog record indicates that the material is "charged," it means that someone else has signed out the book. If you click on the "request" button, the Library will determine the fastest way to get the book to you. Sometimes, that means recalling the book, which takes about two weeks for the book to be returned. You may also get it through Borrow Direct, which you can use if we do not have a book in our holdings, or if the book that you need is already checked out:

Borrow Direct

Click on the link to connect to 'request,' and press the button, 'Search Borrow Direct,' search for the book and if it's available from another university, we will have it shipped to Cornell. Borrowing period is for six weeks, renewable once. Books arrive in 3-4 business days. (This service is for books only). If a Borrow Direct book is not available, you can also try to borrow it through Interlibrary Loan.

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

Interlibrary Loan Services

If Cornell Library does not have an item you need, press 'Request' on the item's record and scroll down to click on the 'InterLibrary Loan' option. Loan period is usually one month. Items can arrive in as little as a few days to a couple of weeks.

Understanding LC Call Numbers

Call number labels are located on the lower part of the spine of the book. Reference materials, in addition, will be marked REF on the call number label.

You can think of a call number as a book's address on the shelf. The first line in a Library of Congress call number classifies the item by its subject according to the LC Classification System. The entire call number should be noted in order to locate the item.

  • LC call numbers are first arranged alphabetically, according to the letter or letters at the beginning of the call number, which correspond to the subject matter of the item.
    Example: Call numbers beginning with P are followed by PA, PB, PC, etc.
  • Within the alphabetical section, books are arranged by the number(s) that follow. Notice that these numbers are regarded as whole numbers. For instance, PS 1200 comes after PS 345.
    Example: QA 56 before QA 234 before QA 234.57 before QA 234.8
  • The next lines are alphabetic, then numeric as a decimal. The numerical part of this section is a decimal number, not a whole number. Use alphabetical order first, then the decimal extension to put the call numbers in correct sequence. (A3113 would come before A4, because 0.3113 is smaller than 0.4.)
    Example: HV 1431 .B7 before HV 1431 .B83 before HV 1431 .F25 before HV 1431 .F7
  • Editions are often arranged by date or by the date and letters.
    Example: PS 3525 .I52 1971 before PS 3525 .I52 1973 before PS 3525 .I52 1973a

From the University of Buffalo's Understanding Library of Congress Call Numbers