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Library catalogues other than UQ

Find books relevant to your research.

What do they contain?

Library catalogues list mainly books but will include other items such as maps, audiovisual items, music scores, and manuscripts.

Many library catalogues now link to electronic resources. Some of those resources will only be available to members of that library, but other resources will be freely available.

As libraries increasingly employ the latest generation of discovery layer technology for their catalogues, individual journal articles are becoming discoverable through them. If you are not a member of that library, you may have to rely on document delivery to access the article. This discoverability of journal articles may not translate into union catalogues.

Searching library catalogues

Library catalogue records have brief rather than detailed descriptions of the books.  This increases the difficulty of locating relevant books as you are not searching the full text of the books.

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.

Saving and accounts

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.