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!
Jacques Louis David, The Death of Socrates, 1787, oil on canvas, 51 x 77 1/4" (129.5 x 196.2 cm),
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/436105.
Our library uses Library of Congress Classification to organize our books by call number. 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 Philosophy students and what they represent.
B - Philosophy (General)
B 108-708 - Ancient
B 720-765 - Medieval
B 770-7855 - Renaissance
B 790-5802 - Modern
BC - Logic
BD - Speculative philosophy
BD 95-131 - Metaphysics
BD 143-237 - Epistemology. Theory of knowledge
BD 240-260 - Methodology
BD 300-450 - Ontology
BD 493-701 - Cosmology
BJ - Ethics
BJ 71-1185 - History and general works
BJ 1188-1295 - Religious ethics
BJ 1298-1335 - Evolutionary and genetic ethics
BJ 1365-1385 - Positivist ethics
BJ 1388 - Socialist ethics
BJ 1390-1390.5 - Communist ethics
BJ 1392 - Totalitarian ethics
BJ 1395 - Feminist ethics
BJ 1518-1697 - Individual ethics. Character. Virtue
BJ 1725 - Ethics of social groups, classes, etc. Professional ethics
BJ 1801-2195 - Social Usages. Etiquette
Click here to see a more thorough explanation of the Philosophy call numbers.
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!