Use the search box below to run a quick search for books, or use the advanced search page to limit your material type to books prior to searching.
1. Use the search box within the "Search our catalog" box on this page to input your keywords.
2. Look to the column on the right under the "Material type" section and click "Books."
3. Now look to the right column again under "Show only." Click "Available in the Library."
4. See a title that looks interesting? The information you need to find it in-person is right there in the list of results. The entry itself often has other information to help you determine if it's useful, so click on the title if you want to know more about it first.
5. Before coming to the library, check our hours and make sure you have your UMass Pass to check out the book!
Our library uses the Library of Congress Call Number Classification System to organize our books. If you know a little bit about what the call numbers stand for, you can browse the stacks more efficiently.
Here are some relevant call numbers for Literature and what they mean.
PN - Literature (General)
PN 59-72 - Study and teaching
PN 80-99 - Criticism
PN 441-1009.5 - Literary history
PN 1010-1525 - Poetry
PN 1600-3307 - Drama
PN 6010-6790 - Collections of general literature
PN 6700-6790 - Comic books, strips, etc.
PR - English literature
PR 1-56 - Literary history and criticism
PR 57-78 - Criticism
PR 500-614 - Poetry
PR 621-744 - Drama
PR 750-890 - Prose
PR 951-981 - Folk literature
PR 1098-1369 - Collections of English literature
PS - American literature
PS 301-326 - Poetry
PS 330-353 - Drama
PS 360-380 - Prose
PS 501-689 - Collections of American literature
PS 700-3576 - Individual authors
Click here to see a more thorough explanation of the Literature call numbers (including literature from different countries!).
Here's a quick guide on how to read call numbers in our library (and most other academic libraries).
The first line is read in alphabetical order.
Read the second line in numerical order.
The third line is tricky. Read the letter in alphabetical order then the number as a decimal.
Sometimes the fourth line will look like this and you read it exactly like the other line.
When you see a line near the bottom that looks like a year, it is a year! This goes in numerical order.
You could think of a call number like a detailed address in reverse: planet, country, state, city, street, street number. Each line helps you narrow down the book's exact location!