Finding Books

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

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

Narrowing results

On the library catalog search page, the "Limit your Search" function provides options to help you narrow your search results including how you'd like to access resources (online, physical) and in what format (book, journal/periodical, microform, etc.).

Image: screen shot of filters available in the Cornell University Library catalog

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), 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).

Art & Architecture ePortal

screenshot of Art & Architecture ePortal homepageThe 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.

Sylvan Barnet

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

Example Record

Image: screen shot of example catalog record from Cornell University Library catalog with link to catalog record

Looking for books not held by Cornell

If the book you are looking for is unavailable through Cornell, you can search WorldCat (part of OCLC First Search) directly by selecting "WorldCat" from the"Select a Topic or Database" dropdown menu.

You can also access WorldCat from the library catalog results page by clicking the "Request from Libraries Worldwide" link.