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Tips for Finding Books
Types of Searches
- Combine terms using AND.
- This search returns records that contain words that match exactly what you typed in.
- This is often (but not always) the best place to start.
- Catalog uses pre-defined subjects.
- This type of search works well if you are browsing for a particular subject that you know or a broad term. So if you aren't finding anything, switch to the keyword search instead.
- Subjects are arranged using the Library of Congress Classification system.
- Author searches are for looking for items a particular person has authored or written.
- The library catalog works best if you type in searches in the format "Lastname, Firstname."
- If you want books about a person, search for their name by subject.
- Use this search if you know the title of the material that you want.
Locating books and other materials in the Alkek Library
- Call Numbers will guide you to the location of physical items within the library.
- If you are having problems with finding a particular book, you can ask a librarian for help.
- This guide may also help you: Locating Books by Call Number
Geography call numbers
Here are some areas that you might choose to browse for geography materials.
|G 1 - 922
|G 1000 - 3122
|G 3180 - 9980
|GA 1 - 1776
||Cartography. Mathematical geography
|GB 3 - 5030
|GC 1 - 1581
|GE 1 - 350
|GF 1 - 900
||Human ecology. Anthropogeography
|HB 848 - 3697
|HD 101 - 1395
|QC 851 - 999
|QE 1 - 999
|S 590 - 599
|S 900 - 972
||Conservation of natural resources
|TD 1- 1600
Check the Library of Congress Classification Outline for more detailed information.
Getting books that the library does not own.
If the Alkek Library does not own a particular book or journal, you may still be able to get it! Try our Interlibrary Loan or TexShare services. More information is on our Library Services page of this guide.
Understanding Call Numbers
Understanding Call number order
Library of Congress call numbers should be read one line at a time as follows:
Example of a complete call number, DA 36 .A55:
- First, look at Line 1:
- Books are arranged in alphabetical order, by the letters on the first line of the call number.
- Example: first come all the D call numbers, then all the DA call numbers, then DB, etc.
- Next, look at Line 2:
- Within the DA call numbers, books are arranged in number order.
- The numbers are arranged in numerical from low to high.
- Then look at Line 3:
- Line 3 of the call number has a letter and a number. The letters are in alphabetical order. Then read the numbers-but BEWARE!
- The numbers are not WHOLE numbers, they are DECIMAL numbers.
- Example: A55 is read as A .55 - this is why A55 comes before A6 (A .55, A .6, A .65, etc.)