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Library catalogues (other than UQ)

Find books relevant to your research.

Searching library catalogues

Library catalogue records:

  • often do not contain any detailed information on the contents of the book
  • have brief descriptions of the books. You are not searching the full text of the books, or even a detailed summary of the books
  • sometimes have some information on the contents of a book.This improves your chances of locating relevant books, but it is still short of full text searching

Strategies to improve your chances of finding relevant books -

1. Broader search terms -

  • For example, if you are looking for information on The role of women in Indonesian political life, there may be relevant information in books about Indonesian politics or about women in Indonesia
  • Search on keywords such as: politics Indonesia or women Indonesia

2. Subject headings -

  • There might be useful subject headings in the catologue record.
  • Click on one of the subject headings to find other books on the same subject.
  • Library of Congress subject headings are used by many libraries in the English-speaking world. If you identify subject headings that describe your research topic, you can use those subject headings to search many different library catalogues.

3. Call numbers (classification numbers) -

  • You can click on the classification number in a record to see other books with the same classification number.
  • Try browsing through adjacent classification numbers, just as if you were browsing books on the library shelves.

Where to search

Institutions or government bodies:

  • Identify institutions or government bodies which specialise in research in your area.
  • Check if they have an online catalogue.


  • Search the library catalogues of universities where there is significant research activity on your topic.
  • They are likely to have a collection of books on your topic.

Regional libraries:

  • If your research has a regional focus try the catalogue of national or state libraries in the relevant region.
  • Search the catalogues of university libraries in that region.

Union catalogues:

  • These are very large databases that incorporate the catalogues of many libraries.
  • We have included links to union catalogues in our list of recommended library catalogues.

Further tips

Save references:

  • Library catalogues will normally allow you to mark or save references that interest you.
  • You can then download or email them.

Accounts or profiles:

  • Some catalogues will allow you to set up an account or profile so that you can save searches.
  • You can re-run the searches periodically.

 - You can use our document delivery service to request books that will be of use to you, if they are not held in the UQ Library.