Finding Books in the Library Catalog

Searching from the library homepage:

The main search box on the Library home page will retrieve material from two different sources: the CU Library catalog and journal article databases. Clicking on a link below the search box (Catalog, Databases, etc.) will limit your searches to that particular source.

The Cornell Library Catalog includes the holdings of all Ithaca campus libraries, in addition to those of the Geneva Experiment Station. The catalog contains records for books, computer files, government documents, manuscripts and archives, maps, musical scores, periodicals, serials, sound recordings, and visual materials.

Searching the catalog:

To search only the Library catalog, click on the Catalog link below the search box on the Library Homepage.

The library catalog defaults to searching in “All Fields.” You can use the pulldown menu to the right of the search window to change from searching “All fields” to searching by title, author, subject, publisher or call number.

Searching by Library of Congress subject terms:

The Cornell University Library uses Library of Congress Subject Headings as the standard for subject searching. In the library catalog, use the pull down menu to limit your search to Subject to retrieve items that contain your terms as part of their LC heading.

Example:Open the catalog, enter the term "Place" and use the pull-down menu to the right of the search window to select "Subject." Searching "place" in the Library of Congress subject headings finds this list of titles.



How to locate call numbers in the Olin Library stacks

Sample Call Numbers:

  • PN 2100 .H62 2015
  • PN 2602.D8 G842 2011 +
  • PN 1993.92.O833 2013 ++
  1. Books are shelved in alphabetical order based on the letters in the first line of the call number. For example, the P call numbers are followed by the PA call numbers, followed by PB, etc.
  2. Following the beginning letter(s), books are arranged in numerical order, from low to high.
  3. The next lines of the call number contain a letter and a number, but they are read as decimals, not whole numbers. Example: A55 is read as A .55. This is why A55 comes before A6 (A .55, A .6, A .65).

Note: If there is a plus sign (+) or double-plus sign (++)  following the call number, this indicates that the item is shelved in the oversize sections. In Olin and Uris libraries, each floor has sections labeled for regular size (no plus with the call number), oversize (+) double oversized (++) .

See this quick tutorial: How To Find A Book in the Stacks