When searching for books, there are a few useful starting strategies to keep in mind:
- While using the catalog to look for books is preferred, patrons wishing to browse the shelves may consult the Arts Library Quick Guide to Major Subject Areas for broad call number ranges.
- Searching a library catalog is different from searching Google or full text databases. The data provided is usually quite basic, including title, author, subject, and sometimes table of contents. You may need to broaden your search or try alternate keywords before finding books on a particular topic.
- Most library catalogs DO NOT contain articles or article indexing. Instead, they will tell you if the library has a subscription to a specific journal or magazine, and if this includes any electronic access. Use an article database to find specific journal articles.
- If you already have a relevant book or article in hand, use its bibliography to find other sources on the same topic.
- Do a subject word (not just a keyword) search in a catalog. Artists, art genres and movements, and the titles of major works of art can also be used in a subject search. The Arts Library has print copies of Library of Congress subject headings available, and advanced researchers may also want to consult the LC Authorities catalog to locate subject headings on different topics.
- Due to major space restrictions in the Library, note that some materials may be located at the Southern Regional Library Facility, or SRLF. These can usually be requested via the UCLA Library Catalog, and are available by the next day for pickup at one of the UCLA Libraries.