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UMW Libraries
Simpson Library | Special Collections

English: Books

A research guide to finding books, articles, and other resources in English and literature

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Locating books on the shelves

When you find a physical book in Quest, write down its call number, and then go to the shelves.

To use call numbers, read them from the top down.

A label on the spine of a book, displaying the call number PR 8875 .P46 1999
 

For example, here's how you'd find this book:

  • First, follow the alphabet to the PR section of the library, which is part of the larger P section.
  • Next, within the PR section, look in numerical order for 8875.
  • Next, within the books numbered 8875, look in alphabetical and numerical order for .P46.
  • (1999 is the year the book was published.)

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

If you find an item that belongs to another library system, you may request it through Interlibrary loan (ILL).

To place an interlibrary loan request, you will need to create a free UMW Libraries ILL Account.

Search for an item in libraries near you:
WorldCat.org >>

Library of Congress Classification

Books are shelved according to Library of Congress Classification. In this system, the library is divided into twenty-one broad subject areas, each of which is assigned one letter of the alphabet.

English literature is classified under letter P. Here are some noteworthy subclasses:

  • PE - The English language
  • PN - Literature (General)
  • PR - English literature
  • PS - American literature

 

For details on how books are arranged within these subclasses, see this PDF guide:

Cooperative Borrowing Program