This is the "Step 1 - Our Catalog" page of the "HIST216 - North America & Empire" guide.
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HIST216 - North America & Empire  

Last Updated: Oct 19, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Step 1 - Our Catalog Print Page

Finding Books in Stevenson Library's Catalog

Start here to find books...

To find books in Stevenson, CCS, the Levy Institute  or the BGC Libraries, use our catalog called Felix.

  • The catalog search defaults to a keyword search. In a keyword search, the Library's search engine looks for your search terms across the entire description of a book, including the table of contents (if the description includes it). With a keyword search, you'll be able to find essays and book chapters on the subject you're looking for, even if they're ancillary to the subject of the book.

  • You can search for a title or author by choosing options from the dropdown menu or by clicking on the gray button on the catalog home page. Type in the title or the author's name (last name, first name) and click search.

  • To search by subject, choose Subject in the drop-down menu or click on the subject button. This search type uses Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), which is a controlled vocabulary meaning that specific terms are used for specific subjects. You need to enter the appropriate term or combination of terms to make this search effective. If you are not sure then start with a keyword search.

  • When you find something in our catalog that fits your topic of interest, take a look in the catalog record for subject headings. Most records will have a few listed and these can be used for further searching. You can click on these right from the record to do a subject search for that subject heading to find more items related to your topic.

  • Our catalog also has options to search by ISBN (among other options).

What are Call Numbers?

Call numbers allow you to find items on the shelves in the library. The call numbers used in an academic library (Library of Congress Call Numbers) are different from those in a public or high school library. Here is an example:


How to Locate Books in Our Library Using Call Numbers

Call Numbers start with one or two letter combinations and are arranged alphabetically throughout the library based on these:

  • A - B are located on the 1st floor
  • C - H located on the 2nd floor
  • J - L and N - PR1799 are located on the 3rd floor
  • PR1800 - TQ and TS - Z are located on the 4th floor
  • TR (photo books) and M (music scores) are located on the 3rd floorby the Reserves Desk
  • Reference books are shelved on the 1st floor

Once you find the section of the library with books that start with those in your call number, next look at the set of numbers that follow those letters. This set of numbers is in numerical order from 1 to 9999. So within the section defined by the letters at the beginning of the Call Number, you should follow these numbers until you come to the those matching the Call Number of the book you're looking for.

The next part of the call number, which is separated by space, represents the Author of the work. This number starts with a letter followed by numbers. Follow the letters alphabetically and then go by decimal order to find the Call Number you are looking for. This is like Dewey call numbers used in a public library -- a book with the call number QA303 .F56 book would be shelved after QA 303 .F455 but before QA 303 .F6.

The last set of numbers is usually the year the book was published.

Books in academic libraries are shelved by their subjects. When you find a book in the catalog, check the books adjacent on the shelves to find other books on the same topic.


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