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English 114/115 - A Research Guide: Find Books

The Library Catalog

The library catalog contains books, e-books, journals, newspapers, magazines, manuscripts, audio-visual material, scores, maps, government documents, databases, and more!

Use either of these options to find books from Yale Library:

Search Techniques For Books

Linked subjects in the catalog are like #hashtags

Records for books include linked subjects, which work similar to #hashtags. If you click on a linked subject, you will return results from the catalog of more books on that same subject.

  • Pro-tip: If you have found only ONE book, or if you have a book from your syllabus, look for a linked subject to identify other books from Yale Library on that same topic. You might find something better!

Screenshot of the hyperlinked subjects found within Orbis and Books+ in Quicksearch

Ask Yale Library

Find answers to common questions, discover solutions to common problems, and more!

Understanding Book Call Numbers

How To Find a Book

An image of book spines displaying call numbers, i.e.: JC71 .P513 2012

A book's call number tells you where a book is located in the library. It will appear generally as: JC71 .P513 2012, with a combination of letters and numbers.

Here's how to find a book based on its call number:

1. Read the 1st row of a call number alphabetically (A, AB, C) and then as a whole number (1, 2, 34).

  • Use the stacks directory (usually located at the entrance to a library or the book stacks) to navigate to the correct floor based on the 1st row letters then navigate to the correct aisle based on the letter and number.

2. When you are at the correct bookshelf, read the 2nd row letters alphabetically (A, AB, C) and read the numbers as a decimal (.01, .11, .9).

3. The third row can be the year of publication (1947, 2012) or an edition (v1, v2) and will be arranged chronologically.

If you need help or can't find your book, try the "Request recall or delivery" option in Orbis and Quicksearch -- we'll get the book for you!

Next Step - Find Articles

Once you have a foundation on your research topic, either by consulting a reference work or a few books, take some of your knew knowledge and look for evidence, or case studies, to support your research question. At this point in the process, your research question may be evolving - and that's great!

To find evidence and case studies, look for articles, including scholarly articles and newspaper articles. Go to the next page (Find Articles) to learn more.