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Retrieving books using call numbers

1. Search the Library's collection via the search box above, or the one on the Library homepage

2. Once you've found a relevant book, make sure it's available and note its call number. Below is an example of a record with the call number highlighted.

3. Let's go find that book! The collection is located in the Library on floors 2, 3, and 4. Call numbers starting with the letters A to L are located on floor 3, M is located on floor 2, and N to Z are located on floor 4 (most Art History books are found here). Here's what the stacks on floor 4 look like:

4. Each row has a sign that tells you what range of call numbers it contains. Everything is arranged alphabetically, so the N call numbers are found past the M section. The row containing our book (NC 1002. L63 C332 2007) is circled below.

4. Books are arranged by call number in alphabetical order on the shelves. For example: call numbers beginning with N are followed by NA, NB, NC; NC 1000 is followed by NC 1001, NC 1002, and so on. The book we're looking for is marked with a red arrow below. We found it!

Books on shelf showing call numbers

If you have any problems finding a book, ask the staff at the Service Desk or roaming the Library for help.

Most of the books relating to Art History have call numbers starting with N, though you might find relevant books in other areas. Here's a list of categories you might want to browse:

N - Art, Architecture, Interior Design, Visual Arts
NA - Architecture
NB - Sculpture
NC - Illustration, Design, Drawing
ND - Painting
NE - Printing
NK - Decorative Arts, Applied Arts
TT - Arts and Crafts, Handicrafts

Search for Books in Other Libraries

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Google Books Search

Another great Google product! Find books online - some with limited content, some entirely online.

Google Book Search

Book Searching Tips

Finding too much?

  • Use AND between ideas to search for BOTH terms
  • Put “Quotation Marks Around Your Search" to search for exact phrases

Finding too little?

  • Use OR between your ideas to search for EITHER term
  • Put ? after the root of a word to look for multiple endings

For better searching, think of multiple ways to describe your topic

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Peter Houston

Phone: 403.440.5197