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Michigan State University

Geography Research Guide: Finding Books & Gov Docs

Books and Government Documents

The Library's Online Catalog contains several million records of the books we own (including e-books), the names of journals we buy, and most government documents. One hole in the database is that it has few U.S. government publications published before 1976 and many other goverment documents appear by their series title and not by individual titles. Begin with a keyword search such as climatic changes and great lakes or geographic information systems and retail

Each record will tell you in which location the item is located (including online access, and some non-MSU Libraries locations such as the MSU Law Library, MSU University Archives, the Library of Michigan, and the Archives of Michigan. 

The image above shows a catalog record for a book owned by MSU Libraries.  By looking at this record, we can see:  

  • MSU Libraries owns two copies of the book (because there are two items listed). 
  • Both copies have the Location of MSU Libraries Reserve Desk, which is located on the 2nd floor of the West Wing of the Main Library. 
  • Both copies have a call number E185.625 .A385 2009. 
  • Both copies are not checked out ("check shelf" status means the item is not checked out).

Finding University Press

The name of a publisher appears in every book's catalog record.  The publisher name can be searched through the "Keyword" catalog search.  Therefore you may find books published by a university press by keyword searching your topic with the phrase 'university press'.

Example: watersheds and university press

This search will retrieve a rough approximation.  It may fail to retrieve books hen the university press doesn't have those words in its name, or may retrieve books that happen to have those words elsewhere in the catalog record other than publisher.

Subject Guide

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Kathleen Weessies
Geosciences Librarian; Social Sciences Coordinator; Head, Map Library
MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive E240
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More Help with Books

Major e-book packages

Michigan State University