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Boatwright Memorial Library

GSCI 398U: Cracking the Weather Code / (SPCS): Finding Books

The Library of Congress (LC) classification system

Most academic libraries worldwide use the Library of Congress' classification system rather than Dewey Decimal.  Like Dewey, LC assigns a book to its shelf location according to the book's subject area; however, LC uses letters rather than numbers to begin its call number locations. 

LC is a hierarchical system.  For example, meteorology is classified to the general area QC (Physics).  Books on meteorology are classed beginning with QC851+ call numbers. 

Subject headings will give you the call numbers of books and you may either search for specific titles or browse the shelves (virtually through the catalog or physically on B2) in those call number areas to find books you need -- either in print or as e-books.

Some LC subject areas in meteorology:

  QC854  -  Dictionaries & encyclopedias
  QC854.2  -  Nomenclature, terminology, abbreviations
  QC857.A-Z  -  History by region or country
  QC863.4  -  Popular works
     Meteorology. Climatology
QC877  -  Weather signals, storm warnings, etc.
QC877.5  -  Weather broadcasting, including weathercasting
QC878  -  Construction of weather maps, charts, etc.
QC920  -  Clouds
QC924  -  Rain and rainfall
QC926.3  -  Snow. Ice. Blizzards
QC930.5  -  Wind
QC940.6  -  Storms. Cyclones
QC944  -  Hurricanes and other cyclonic storms
QC955  -  Tornadoes
QC966  -  Lightning
QC968  -  Thunderstorms

Finding books in the library catalog

There are several options for accessing the catalog:

  1. Select the "Books and More" tab on the search box on the library main page.
  2. Or use the "Books and More" link under Quick Links
  3. If you are already using OneSearch, you can choose Books, Audio, or Video from the Item Type dropdown box beneath the search box.

Here are some quick tips for effective catalog searches:

  • After beginning a search, use the options on the left side to limit your search more.  You can narrow your results by Full Text Online; Available in Library; Author/Creator; Subject/Topic; Resource Type, and more. 
  • Start with a keyword search and when you have found one or two relevant books, examine their subject headings to help guide further searching.
  • The keyword search is searching the titles, subject headings, and any contents notes in the catalog record -- not the full text of the book.
  • Most books by and about a topic are shelved together, so once you have a few call numbers, you can BROWSE the shelves in those call number areas to locate other books that may be useful.  Books on medical anthropology are usually classified in the GN290's or the RA600's.
  • All circulating books are shelved on the B1 and B2 levels of Boatwright.  Reference books are in the Research & Collaborative area of the 1st floor.

Other catalogs:

You may also look for books owned by Virginia Commonwealth University or other area academic libraries.  You may check out books from these libraries if you first obtain a form at Boatwright's Information Desk and take it with you to the other library.  You can then return the books to Boatwright.

WorldCat *** allows you to search library catalogs throughout the world.  You may request books from these libraries through Interlibrary Loan but allow 3-4 weeks to receive them.

Using Interlibrary Loan (ILL)




If UR does not own a book that you need for your research, use Interlibrary Loan to request it from another library.  Depending on how long it takes for the loaning library to fill the request, you should allow 2-3 weeks for your book to arrive.  You will be notified through email when the book arrives and you can then pick it up at the Information Desk at Boatwright's entrance.

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