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Michigan State University

Botany / Plant Biology Research Guide: Catalog and Book Search

This is a general guide to finding information on plants, including floras, taxonomy, identification keys, habitat and growing needs.

Catalog Search

The Library catalog is the primary way to find materials within the library. The online catalog lists all of the materials owned and cataloged by the MSU Libraries, both print and electronic journal titles, books, music CDs, government documents, videos & DVDs, and dissertations.

The advanced search of the catalog can be accessed here:

Advanced allows you to seach using multiple keywords, subjects, and combine fields like author and title. You can also set limits, including by collection (i.e. the format - periodicals, electronic resources, or any of the special or branch library collections), material type (i.e. maps, dissertations, etc.), location, language, and by a date or range of dates.  Results can be sorted by date (most recent first), alphabetically by title, and by relevance.

The green tabs at the top of this page will also take you to specifically a Title, Author, Subject, or Basic Keyword search options.

Subject Headings

When conducting a SUBJECT SEARCH of the MSU Libraries online catalog for plants specific to Michigan, use the following subject headings:

Algae - Michigan
Annuals (Plants) - Michigan
Botany - Michigan
Climbing plants - Michigan
Ferns - Michigan
Floriculture - Michigan
Flowers - Michigan
Freshwater plants - Michigan
Fruit culture - Michigan
Gardening - Michigan
Gardens - Michigan
Horticulture - Michigan
Mosses - Michigan
Nurseries (Horticulture) - Michigan
Perennials - Michigan
Plant conservation - Michigan
Plants - Michigan
School Gardens - Michigan
Shrubs - Michigan
Trees - Michigan
Trees in Cities - Michigan
Vegetables - Michigan
Wild flowers - Michigan

Book Series

Call numbers of interest

Here is a general breakdown of Library of Congress call numbers for many agriculture-related subjects:


1 Periodicals, societies, congresses, serial publications
7-9 Encyclopedias and Dictionaries
14.5 Botanical literature, including Herbals
26-31 Biographies
71-73 Botanical gardens
75-77 Herbariums
79-79.5 Museums. Exhibitions
91-97 Museums. Exhibitions
91 Works of Linnaeus (Botany only)
102-105 Aquatic flora
108-474.5 Topographic divisions
474.8-495.Z Spermatophyta. Phanerogams
500-599 Cryptogams
640-680 Plant anatomy
683-707 Individual plant parts
710-899 Plant physiology
900-989 Plant ecology

QE 993 Palynology (the study of live and fossil spores, pollen grains, and similar plant structures)
S Agriculture
SB Horticulture
SD General Forestry

Michigan State University