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College Writing 4A: UC London, Summer 2017: Finding Books

Instructors: Lang, Acevedo-Butcher


To find books, DVDs, maps, sound recordings, manuscripts, and much more - everything except articles - use a library catalog.

OskiCat = most UC Berkeley libraries

MELVYL = all UC campus libraries, including all UC Berkeley libraries

What's the difference?  more details here

For each item make sure you know the name of the physical library, call number, and whether or not it's checked out, library use only, etc.

Call numbers are on the spine of the book; learn how to read them so you can find what you need on the shelves.

Sample Searches for Books

Sample searches in OskiCat:

keyword search, then find official subject headings:

london history

(subject)  london england history

london gentrific*
london docklands

* = truncation or wildcard symbol; child* - child, childs, children, childish, childhood...

"trafalgar square"

quotes keep words together as a phrase


  • you may limit your results to Berkeley
  • to borrow materials owned by other campuses, use the Request button
  • pull down the "University of California Libraries" menu to "Libraries Worldwide" to search thousands of libraries

in most library catalogs you may:

  • modify your searches or use Advanced searching to limit results to English, specify years of publication, limit to a library location, limit to a format (videos, manuscripts, etc.)
  • save items to a list and e-mail the list to yourself

SMS and QR Codes in OskiCat

You can now text yourself a call number or use a QR code reader to find the location of an item in the UCB Library. Just click on a title in your OskiCat search results, and both options will be displayed on the right.

SMS and QR image

ebrary = ebooks

ebrary is our largest collection of full text ebooks, with nearly 50,000 titles on a wide range of subjects. Find them in the UCB catalog, OskiCat (keyword: ebrary or limit to "Available Online"), or search the ebrary site directly:

Search ebrary


Getting started with ebrary

You do allow embedded content.

Google Books

Google Books contains millions of scanned books, from libraries and publishers worldwide. You can search the entire text of the books, view previews or "snippets" from books that are still in copyright, and read the full text of out-of-copyright (pre-1923) books.  Want to read the entire text of an in-copyright book?  Use Google Books' Find in a Library link to locate the book in a UC Berkeley library, or search OskiCat to see if UC Berkeley owns the book.

Why use Google Books?

Library catalogs (like OskiCat) don't search inside books; using a library catalog, you can search only information about the book (title, author, Library of Congress subject headings, etc.).  Google Books will let you search inside books, which can be very useful for hard-to-find information.  Try it now:

Google Book Search
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