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Locating material in the library

Library interior

The Library's books are in two different classification schemes: the alphabetical Library of Congress Classification (newer material) and the Seeley's numerical in-house system (older material - see below for the full classification scheme). These run in two separate sequences.

If the classmark of the book you are looking for begins with a letter (eg. A, BX), then it will be in the Library of Congress sequence. If the classmark begins with a number (eg. 24.3), it will be in the other sequence. Brief outlines of both schemes can be found at the end of the stacks.

In addition there are various other resources available through the library:

Closed stackSpecial Subjectebooks & ejournalsDVDs & videosLatin American Studies Mezzanine


Closed stack material

Most books are on open access in the library; however, some material is shelved in closed stacks. On the catalogue, these items will be listed as needing to be requested at the issue desk.

Pamphlets: If the classmark begins with PAM, then the item is a pamphlet. Pamphlets can only be used in the library. The most frequently used items are held at the desk; others are stored in the basement and will be fetched on request.

Theses: The Seeley holds a reference-only collection of MPhil and prize-winning undergraduate dissertations, all catalogued online. Please ask at the desk if you wish to consult one of these titles.

Journals: A lot of our journals are on the mezzanine floor inbetween the 30s and the Latin American Studies Collection, however some are in the closed stacks and must be requested at the desk. LibrarySearch and Newton will make it clear if you need to request it.

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Special Subject source material

Special Subject source material is shelved in the Special Subject Room. Items may only be borrowed from 2.30pm until 10.30am the next day (or from Friday afternoon to Monday morning).

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Ebooks and ejournals

There are links to ebooks and ejournals in the iDiscovery catalogue. To restrict your search only to eresources they can also be accessed through the University Library's eresources@cambridge page. Some electronic resources can only be accessed using a Raven password.

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DVDs and videos

See the Audio-visual collection page.

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Latin American Studies collection

The Latin American Studies collection is housed in the six bookstacks at the end of the mezzanine level to the right as you enter the library.

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Seeley In-House Classification

Older material is classified into an in-house scheme. The first element denotes a subject or regional designation and the second number is a topical subdivision, e.g., 30.11 = American Civil War; the third element is simply a running number assigned to the book on its arrival (so duplicate copies of the same title may have separate locations if they arrived at different times).

The full classification scheme is as follows:-

Reference

  1. Cambridge and other reference works
  2. Atlases, maps and other reference works
  3. Essays, etc
  4. Ancient History
  5. European History (general)
  6. Medieval European History
  7. Modern European History
  8. Eastern and African History
  9. Theses
  10. British Economic and Social History
  11. Social and Political Thought
  12. International Affairs
  13. British History
  14. Official Publications
  15. Periodicals
  16. Learned Societies
  17. not used
  18. Palaeography
  19. History of Sciences
  20. Military History
  21. Pamphlets
  22. Theology
  23. Not used
  24. Art and Literature
  25. not used
  26. not used
  27. not used
  28. not used
  29. not used
  30. American History

PAM. Pamphlet Collection


Mezzanine

The mezzanine holds older POLIS material that have an in-house classmark. If a book appears on iDiscover with the location 'Seeley Library: Mezzanine' then it will be located on the first floor of the library.

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