GE Cluster 66C: Mausoleums, Monuments, and Museums: Memorializing Death in Los Angeles (Spring 2015)

  Tips for Book Searching

When searching for books in the UCLA Library, here are a few strategies to start with: 

    1. If you are not sure of where to start, do a Keyword search for relevant terms or phrases (put the phrases in "quotation marks")

    1. If you already have a relevant book or article in hand, use its bibliography to find other sources on the same topic

    1. If you have the title of the book you want, do a Title (start of) search to find the call number

    1. If you find a useful title, click on the Subject(s): to get a list of subject headings that will lead to other books on the same topic
    2. Use quotation marks if you want to search a phrase

  1. Use ? to truncate a word, e.g., american? will retrieve american and americans

How to Read Call Numbers in an Academic Library

Powell Library Map Check to see where your call number is located.

Young Research Library Map Check to see where your call number is located.

Online Catalogs for Finding Books at UCLA or Other Libraries

At UCLA there are three different library catalogs to search for books.

UCLA Library Catalog

The UCLA Library Catalog lists everything owned or licensed by the UCLA Library and other campus collections. That includes books, journals, magazines, DVDs and videos, microfilm, and online databases. As our in-house system it also contains up-to-the-minute status information on what's checked out and allows you to do things like renew your books, recall books checked out to other people or request items stored in the Southern Regional Library Facility (SRLF).


  1. The Catalog lists journals owned by UCLA, but not the individual articles inside them. To identify specific articles, use an Article Database.
  2. Once you have found a book you want to get, note the location, call number and status (whether the book is checked out):
    Location: YRL
    Call Number: DT16.5 .A24 2010
    Status: Not Checked Out
  3. You can always ask for help!

Search strategy examples:

For books about cemeteries, on the Basic Search page, type Funeral rites and ceremonies, select Subject List (Start of) and then click Search. You will see a list of subject headings. Select those that seem most appropriate, click on them and you will see bibliographic citations for books and journals (not journal articles) in the library. When you look a record for a title, you may find other subject headings that look relevant--click on them to find other books on that topic.

To find books about funeral rites for a particular ethnic group, select Subject List and type in funeral rites and customs. The result will be a list of terms such as: Creoles--Funeral customs and rites.


WorldCat has catalog records from libraries worldwide. Not every library everywhere, but from any libraries that have given their records to OCLC. However, it lacks local information like where in the library something is. You can request materials from anywhere in the world using the Interlibrary Loan service—you don't even have to specify where it's coming from—but it may take weeks or months to get here, and extremely rare materials may not be available for loan.


  • Resources that are fully cataloged in the UC campus (main) catalogs, including books, journals, media, government publications, maps, electronic databases, and more.
  • Resources in libraries around the world, listed from a service called, including many California research libraries: California State Library, Hastings College of the Law, the California Academy of Sciences, the California Historical Society, the Center for Research Libraries, the Graduate Theological Union, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and some campus affiliated libraries.
  • A search in the Melvyl Catalog includes many journal article databases with links to articles available in full-text or print from the UC Libraries. To limit your search to books only, on the Advanced Search screen, click the Add/Remove databases>> button and CLEAR ALL; then check the box next to WorldCat and Save Selections.