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United States History Research Guide

Library Catalog: discoverE

Find items in the library (books, music, movies)

Use discoverE to search for books, movies, music, government documents, and other holdings/collections of the Emory Libraries.

Need to explore what's out there beyond Emory?  See the Other Library Catalogs box below.

Searching the Catalog

Books in libraries are assigned subject headings - standardized terms that ensure books on the same topic can be found even if you enter different search terms.  For example, a search for "United States Civil War" OR "War Between the States" in discoverE will retrieve records for books having this standard subject heading:

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865

When you find a good book on your topic, click on the subject headings assigned to that book in discoverE to find other titles on that topic. Or, use the subject heading terms in a new search.

You can employ these strategies - and the same subject headings - to search by topic in the WorldCat "mega-catalog" and in most academic library catalogs.

Examples of subject headings [NOTE: omit dashes and other punctuation when typing in catalog search terms]:


Locating Library Materials in the Stacks

You need three pieces of information from discoverE to find a book or other physical item:

  • LIBRARY:  Woodruff Library is designated as "GENERAL" or "GENERAL LIBRARIES"

  • CALL NUMBER:  System of letters and numbers that group materials by subject.  Woodruff Library uses the Library of Congress (LC) call number system.   How to "Read" a Call Number

  • LOCATION: many Woodruff Library materials have a location of "STACKS" (library lingo for "book floors)." Our call number guide (also available around elevators and service points) tells you what call numbers reside on each Stacks floor.


Is the item you need checked out? in Storage? at the Oxford Library? missing from the shelf?  Info on recalling and requesting library materials

Locating Materials - more info

Detailed list of call numbers - use to determine how subjects are arranged - for example, African American History starts at call number E184.5  ... so you can browse the Stacks for books on your topic

If Emory Doesn't Have What You Need

Place an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request and we'll get the item for you; takes several days, so plan ahead.

Use your EmoryCard to borrow materials yourself from Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, and the University of Georgia (Athens), OR ...

... ask for an interlibrary use card at the Woodruff reference desk to borrow materials from other Atlanta area colleges.

More about Interlibrary Loan & Interlibrary Use


Other Library Catalogs





Library version - advanced version requires Emory Network ID and password for off-campus access

Web version - less sophisticated free version



WorldCat is the best place to find materials not available at Emory.  Search holdings of thousands of libraries worldwide simultaneously, and use Emory Libraries' Interlibrary Loan or Interlibrary Use services to obtain them.  Learn more


GIL Universal Catalog

Holdings of Georgia State, Georgia Tech, University of Georgia and other Georgia public colleges & universities [does NOT include Emory and other private institutions]


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