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How do I find books?

Determining Location and Call Number

Books can be located in any of our six campus libraries. When you search the catalog, you will see the Library and building location with the call number in the results screen.  For items with multiple copies, you will need to view the full catalog record and look under "Holdings".

Holdings Text

Note the Campus Library and building location along with the call number. Click on the map link to find the location within the building. Maps and call number guides are also posted at each campus library. 

Not sure how to find your book on the shelf? 

Learn how to read call numbers.

Is the book missing from the shelf?

Click on "Request for Pickup" in the Library Catalog record. Staff will search for the missing item. 

Need help?

Ask a Librarian via chat, text, or email. Or if you see a library employee working in the stacks, please don't hesitate to ask them for help locating your book.

Reading Call Numbers

Library of Congress

Most of the Library uses the Library of Congress Classification System.

PS3551 The numbers following the letter(s) are read as a whole number (three thousand five hundred and fifty-one). PS3551 would come before PS3650.
.5 If there are additional numbers immediately after the whole number, you should treat them as a decimal.PS3551.5 would come between PS3551 and PS3552.
For the next part of the call number, go to the letter(s) and then treat the number(s) as a decimal. .N257 U53 would come between .N257 U450 and .N257 U6.
1999 The final number, if included, is the year of publication.This book was published in 1999.

Dewey Decimal

Some of the John Crerar Library's collections are shelved by the Dewey Decimal Classification System.

630.51 The number in front of the decimal is read as a whole number (six hundred and thirty), then treat the rest as a decimal. 630.4 would come between 630.31 and 630.52.
P884 For the final number, go to the letter first and then read the rest as a whole number. P884 would come between P883 and P885.

Harvard Yenching

Some materials from the Library's East Asian Collection on the 5th Floor of Regenstein are shelved by the Harvard Yenching system.


The numbers are read as a whole number (eight thousand nine-hundred and eleven). 8911 would come before 8950.

.5 If there are additional numbers immediately after the whole number, you should treat them as a decimal. 8911.5 would come between 8911 and 8912.
4426 The next number is also read as a whole number.