Subject vs Keyword

subject terms= fewer hits & better

keywords= more hits & sometimes worse

A keyword means find the word anywhere in the record -- title, author, notes, description, publisher, etc. (NOT the full text of the book or article)

A subject term is human-made and is designed to help you to other materials of similar topics

Requesting Books from Elsewhere

For BOOKS already checked out, or that Cornell doesn't have:

Borrow Direct
If a book has the red clock icon indicating that it is already borrowed, or "checked out," try Borrow Direct! Books arrive in 3-4 business days. Just press the "Request" button in the Library Catalog and you will be redirected to the request page. All you have to do is choose which library circulation desk you want to pick up the book from!

Cornell Library catalog item, location and holdings information

For items (books, articles, microfilm) Cornell doesn't have:

Interlibrary Loan Services

Items can arrive in as little as a few days to a couple of weeks.

If the library doesn't have the journal that contains an article you are looking for, or if it is held at the annex, you can request a free scan of the article. 

In the unlikely event that a book isn't available via BorrowDirect, the library will broaden the search to borrow through Interlibrary loan. 

For items at another campus library or the Library Annex, use the "Request" button in the Library Catalog and choose Library to Library Delivery.

Library Home Page & Catalog

The library homepage search box searches all library systems--the catalog, articles, and library websites.

Cornell Library homepage

The catalog contains all of the holdings of all Cornell University libraries including records for books, ebooks, DVD's/videos, sound recordings, magazines/newspapers/journals, online journals/newspapers, computer files, government documents, manuscripts and archives, maps, musical scores, and more. Everything but articles!

The advanced search allows for more precision. The drop down menu to the right of the search box allows you to search by Author, Title, Keyword, or Subject, or combinations:

Cornell Library catalog search

Refine a search with the facets on the left.   

To search the holdings of libraries beyond Cornell click on Results at “libraries worldwide” (Worldcat Local) on the left of the results page.

Cornell Library catalog search filters


Finding a citation in the catalog

When you have a citation and you need to find it in the catalog, try to first identify the type of material before you look for it. 

It is a book? 

No matter what the format, a book citation will usually have the name of the publisher and the city of the publication.

If it is a book, or a book chapter, search for the title of the book.

Is it an article? 

An article citation will usually have two titles in it-- one for the article, in quotation marks,  and one for the journal that the article is contained in, either underlined or italicized. 

You can't search the library catalog by the title of the article. You need to search the catalog for the journal title, and then find the article by using the dates and volume numbers.