Using the Online Catalog

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What to use the catalog for

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Use the catalog to find what the LSU Libraries owns or has access to: books, ebooks, journals, archival materials, etc.


Click on the "Catalog" tab above the search box.

Library catalog screenshot

(To page through the tutorial, click the arrows below.)

Catalog records

Every book, ebook, or journal the LSU Libraries owns or has access to has a catalog record.  

Articles in journals do not have their own catalog records.  Please look at the tutorials on article databases.

Using the drop-down menus to the left and right of the catalog search box, you can search by title, author, subject, or periodical title.

Set the drop-down menu on the left at "title."  Search for "Eerie Silence."

This is a browse search.  It puts the titles in alphabetical order.  The one you searched for is second in the list:

The eerie silence : renewing our search for alien intelligence

Click the title to open the full record.

Eerie silence

The red arrow on the left indicates the call number, QB54.D383.

Below the red arrow on the right is a link to information about Call Number Locations 

QB is in the range PN-V, on the Fourth Floor of Middleton Library.

Call numbers

The call number tells you where this book is shelved.  The call number for Erie Silence is QB54.D383.

Click here to learn about call numbers.

QB54.D383 is a Library of Congress (LC) call number, the same as is used in the Library of Congress in Washington.  QB is astronomy.

Go back to the library website, again click on the "Catalog" tab, and set the left drop-down menu to "title."

Search for "Roswell report."

The browse list shows:

  • The Roswell report : case closed
  • The Roswell report [electronic resource] : case closed : executive summary
  • The Roswell report : fact versus fiction in the New Mexico desert 

Click on "The Roswell report : fact versus fiction in the New Mexico desert."


One copy is shelved in Government Documents (upper left red arrow) in the basement of Middleton Library.

The tutorial on call numbers also tells you about SuDocs numbers for government documents.  This call number, D 301.82/7:R 73, indicates this was published by the Department of Defense (=D) (lower left red arrow).

There is also a link to an electronic edition (right red arrow).


Subject terms

Now click on the "Catalog Record" tab.


This opens the second half of the catalog record for this book.


In the Library of Congress system, items are classified under both call numbers and subject terms.  This is like having both a table of contents and an index for the entire LSU Libraries collection. 

Subject browse search

Go back to the library catalog search page.  Set the left drop-down menu on "subject" and the right drop-down menu on "browse."  Search for "Unidentified flying objects."

Subject browse

The output is an index, with narrow subheadings under "Unidentified flying objects." 

Scroll by clicking "Next" (indicated by red arrow).  Scroll to "Unidentified flying objects - Sightings and encounters."  Click "Next" again for sub-subheadings on specific sitings.

Subject searching is powerful.  Click here for more about subject searching.

Boolean searching is another powerful method.  Click here for more about Boolean searching.

Need additional help? Ask us!



Research Department Updated 4/15

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