Finding Books in the Library Catalog

Find nearly everything owned by the Cornell University Library by searching the Catalog, which includes: books/eBooks; journals, magazines, and newspapers (but not articles) video and audio government documents manuscripts and archives; maps; music; and visual materials--in short, anything the Ithaca campus libraries own.

One very useful strategy is to search by subject heading.

Navigating to the Library Catalog

Searching the Library Catalog by Subject Heading

Once inside the Library Catalog, you can of course search by keyword, title, author, etc. Another useful way to search the catalog is by using Library of Congress Subject Headings. To limit your search to LC Subject Headings, select "Subject" from the drop-down menu. (Some useful subject headings are provided on this page.)

After that, use your filters to narrow your results by format,publication year, language, library location, etc.

Using our online catalog

The Cornell Library Catalog includes the holdings of all the libraries on the Ithaca campus. The catalog contains records for all books, newspapers, journals, magazines, serials, government documents, manuscripts, archival materials, maps, musical scores, computer files, sound recordings, and visual materials.

Connect to the Cornell Library Catalog

While the study of gender and sexuality is constantly evolving, the standardized Library of Congress system of subject headings often lags behind what might be the most current or obvious subject term.

Be flexible in how you go about searching for relevant secondary sources on sexuality. Keep in mind a wide range of possible search terms in the course of your search. Examine carefully what specific subject headings come up in both older and newer books and databases on your topic.

A good strategy for a comprehensive search is to use keyword searching to find some books on your particular subject; then look at their records to see what standard subject headings were applied to the item; and follow up with a subject search on those terms. The advantage of subject searching is a more comprehensive search result due to the fact that librarians work hard to determine the main topics and then to assign the correct standardized terms to each item they catalog.

The University at Albany Libraries has created an online list of Subject Headings for LGBTQI Research. These subject headings are useful for looking up topics related to gay and lesbian studies.

Catalog Tips

Our catalog also allows you to recall or put a hold on items that are currently checked out by other library users. Clicking on the My Account link at upper right allows you to see what you have checked out; you can also renew your books from this page.

Two things to remember about the Catalog:

  1. This online catalog lists the holdings of all of the Cornell libraries.
  2. You cannot find journal articles in this catalog. Only the titles of journals, magazines, and newspapers are listed along with the years and volumes that we own. To find articles, click on the Finding Articles tab in this guide.

If we don't have a BOOK that you need or if we have the book but it's checked out:

Borrow Direct
Click on the link above, connect to Borrow Direct, search for the book and if it's available from another Ivy League university, we will have it shipped to Cornell. Borrowing period is 6 weeks, renewable once. Books arrive in 3-4 business days. (This service is for BOOKS only).

If we don't own an item that you need (any item -- journal article, DVD, dissertation, etc.):

Interlibrary Loan Service
If Cornell Library does not have an item you need, use our interlibrary loan service to request that we borrow materials from other libraries. Loan period is usually one month. Items can arrive in as little as a few days to a couple of weeks.

We invite you to check with the reference staff if you are having trouble finding a particular book or journal. We can help!


Browse this selection of some of the groundbreaking work and anthologies on sexuality subjects.

Looking for more? SIECUS, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, creates bibliographies on topics related to sexuality. For instance, you can find their recommended reading on sexuality and disability, sexual harassment and violence, and "35 Books That Have Influenced Our Understanding of Sexuality." For others, search the Web for “SIECUS annotated bibliography.”