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Mathematics Research Guide: Finding Books

Mathematics Books (QAs)

The mathematics books are located in the Fine Hall Wing of the Lewis Science Library, shelved by Library of Congress QA call numbers.

If Princeton's copy is unavailable, login to Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan and choose Lewis Science Library as your pick-up location.

Books currently checked out can be recalled using the recall option in the Catalog.

Books located in ReCAP are offsite and can be requested and delivered to campus.

If you cannot find a book on the shelf, please ask library staff for help!

Please contact Lewis Library if you have additional comments or questions.

Using the Library Catalog

The Library Catalog is your primary tool for finding books in the Princeton University Library. You can also use the catalog to find other materials, including videos, sound recordings, Internet sites, and journals (the journals themselves- not individual articles). The Library Catalog provides two search modes: Basic Search and Advanced Search.

Use Basic Search when...
Use Advanced Search when...
  • You know the exact title of the item, author's name, subject heading, or call number
  • You want to do a complex keyword search
  • You want to do a simple keyword search anywhere within the catalog record
  • You want to do a keyword search in one or more specific fields

Keyword searching is best used when you don't know the exact title, author's name, or subject heading. Use keywords especially when you want to discover what items the Library has for your topic, as this allows you to express the topic in your own words. For more tips on using the Main Catalog see the Help Page.

I typically advise using the Advanced Search, especially since most attempts to discover what the Library holds on a topic will involve a complex keyword search. The Advanced Search allows you to search combinations of keywords and phrases in more than one field within the catalog. You can combine search terms with Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) and by using the pull-down menu options (all of these, any of these, as a phrase). You can also limit your search to particular fields, such as the title, author, subject, and publisher. Break your topic up into its component concepts and construct searches for each concept individually, then combine the conceptual searches together to approximate your topic. 

When you get some results, use the Long View feature to display the full record. Displaying the full record exposes more detail, including the subject headings that were assigned to that item. Look at the subject headings and see how they describe your topic. You can do follow-up searches using these subject headings to get related items.

When you find an item you'd like to obtain, be sure to pay attention to the location, call number, and status as indicated in the catalog record. See the list of location codes for help determining in which library collection the item is held. The call number shows where in the collection the item should be, and the status tells you whether the book is available or not. For more information on the call numbers used at Princeton and for help with locating a book in Firestone, see the Library Call Numbers & Locations page.



WorldCat: Window to the world's libraries

WorldCat is a comprehensive online catalog of library holdings. lists books, journals, maps, recordings, films, scores, and other materials located in over 6000 public, academic, corporate, school and specialized libraries all over the world. Check WorldCat for holdings of materials that are not available at Princeton University Library; these items can be requested through Interlibrary Loan or Borrow Direct. Items that are available here are usually marked with this icon: In your library PRINCETON UNIV , but double check to be sure. You can use the Princeton University Links - PUL Links logo icon to quickly search Main Catalog for that item; this is essential because the item might be checked out, lost, or unavailable for some other reason.