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Legacy Library

Research Basics: Finding Sources: Books

Accessing Research Sources

This page will provide information on how to access books from the Marietta College Library Catalog and OhioLINK, as well as how to understand the Library of Congress Classification system to find books. For more information or help finding research sources, stop by the Reference Desk, call us at 740-376-4543, or email us at

Marietta College Library Catalog

The Marietta College Legacy Library possesses approximately 250,000 books, print journals, government documents, and media. To access these resources, use the library catalog here. You can search by keyword, title, author, subject, call number, and ISBN. As you begin research, it is helpful to brainstorm a variety of search terms to find as many potential sources as possible. 

Example research question: What role did immigrants play in the Union Army during the American Civil War?

Some search terms could include:

  • immigrants during the Civil War
  • immigrant soldiers in the Civil War
  • Irish in the Civil War
  • Germans in the Civil War (and continuing with other groups)
  • immigrants fighting in the Civil War
  • Immigrants AND Civil War



Your search will take you to a list of books, e-books, and videos available in print and digital format. One useful tip to help you find multiple books on the same subject is to use the subject headings found on each book's record page.



If you click on one of the subject headings, it will show you all of the books that are listed in that category. It will also show you similar subject heading which may have books you can use. 


If you want to search for books through OhioLINK while you are searching the Marietta College Library Catalog, you can click on the "Search OhioLINK" button at the top of the page. Or, you can click on the "OhioLINK Central Catalog" link on the library's main page. You can use the subject headings to find additional sources in the same way as the Marietta College catalog.

Deciphering the Library of Congress Classification System

The print materials at the Marietta College library (and most college libraries) are organized using the Library of Congress Classification System. In this system, books are organized by subject, with each subject receiving a label from A to Z.

A: General Works (encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc.)                                                  N: Fine Arts

B: Philosophy, Psychology, & Religion                                                                        P: Language and Literature

C: Auxiliary Sciences of History (Archeology, Genealogy)                                         Q: Science

D: History of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia                                                               R: Medicine

E: History of the Americas                                                                                          S: Agriculture

F: History of the Americas                                                                                          T: Technology

G: Geography, Anthropology, & Recreation                                                               U: Military Science

H: Social Sciences (Economics, Sociology, etc.)                                                       V: Naval Science

J: Political Science                                                                                                     Z: Bibliography, Library Science,             

K: Law                                                                                                                            Information Resources

L: Education

M: Music



Each area is further broken down into sub-groups and organized using a combination of letters and numbers. Every book is allotted a specific call number used to identify it. Call numbers beginning with A-L are found on the second floor of the library, while M-Z are on the third floor. Oversize and Folio are at the end of each floor's shelving. 

Anatomy of a Call Number

The example above shows the title, author and publisher, physical location of the library's copy, the call number, and availability of the book. The first half of the call number describes the book's subject matter (E468.9 is LCC for the American Civil War). The second half usually represents the author's last name and date of the book's publication (H87- Hurt, 2016- year the book was published).








Be aware that the Oversize and Folio books are at the end of each floor's shelving. The "Location" portion of the book's record will show which area of the stacks it is found in. As always, if you can't find a book in the stacks, stop by the Reference Desk and ask for help.

Evaluating Books

When evaluating a book as a potential source, keep the following in mind:

Publication date/edition: In some fields (especially science and medicine), information becomes outdated quickly. Older books don't always have correct information, simply because of new research. Publishers also include updates in new editions, so be sure to use the most recent edition of a book.

Publisher: Books published by a university press are considered scholarly and credible. 

Author: The author's credentials are usually included either on the dust jacket or elsewhere in the book. 

Sources: The author should use end notes, footnotes, and/or a reference list of sources used to write the book.