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What's in the Library: Books

1. Searching the Catalogue


The Library Catalogue is excellent for:

  • searching for specific books by title or author
  • finding a well-curated selection of the best examples of art & design related titles
  • using a general keyword search to find the best examples of art & design related titles
  • finding out the subject headings associated with your research topic (see: What is Research? Search Terms)


The Library Catalogue can be a problem when you:

  • do not know the exact title of a book: 
    • WHY? the catalogue will not search variants of a word or auto-correct spelling mistakes
  • are searching for new innovative subjects, such as wayfinding, biomimicry, internet microsites, etc.
    • WHY? the catalogue uses Library of Congress Subject Headings to describe books and many new, interdisciplinary topics are not included as official "subjects"
  • need to keyword search the entire text of a book.
    • WHY? the catalogue only searches a book:
      • title
      • author
      • subject heading
      • and sometimes table of contents, or brief descriptions of the book (from the book jacket or form the publishers' description)

In each of these cases, it is best to use:

  • Summon search for a more broad and open way to access the library's print books

Using the Library Catalogue

Keyword Searches

Select the default keyword search for:

  • general searches on topics, art movements, artists, etc.

Use the dropdown menu for general searches for:

  • authors, including artists or designers as authors
  • subjects
  • videos or DVDs

Browse Searches

Select the browse search option for:

  • specific SUBJECTS such as art movements, artists, geographic regions
  • specific AUTHORS: remember to use the last name first!
  • books that have very common TITLES, such as
    • "Art History" by Marilyn Stokstad; a general keyword search on art history will retrieve almost 5, 000 book titles, so is not an efficient way to find one specific book!
  • searching for PRINT JOURNALS by title

Advanced Search

Select the advanced search option for:

  • combining KEYWORD or SUBJECT search terms and specific AUTHORS, such as:
    • finding a book about printmaking (general keyword) but specifically by Picasso (as author)
  • searching for books in SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, such as:
    • Reference books only (for example to find a catalogue raisonné on an artist)
    • Rare Books or Bookworks
    • DVDs only
    • VHS tapes only