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Books and periodicals

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The Library has over 250,000 volumes covering all subject areas studied at Goldsmiths. Books are organised by subject using the Dewey Decimal Classification system outlined below, with numbers 000-699 located on the 1st floor of the Library and numbers 700-999 located on the 2nd floor.

NumberSubject
000 Generalities, Computing
100 Philosophy and Psychology
200 Religion
300 Education and Social Sciences
400 Language
500 Science
600 Technology and Management
700 Visual and Performing Arts
800 Literature
900 Geography and History

Within each class number books are arranged on the shelves alphabetically by the author (or title, if there is no author). The letters which follow the class number indicate the first three letters of the author.

Most books are shelved in the 'Main sequence'. The following categories of books are shelved in separate sequences. You may need to consult the Library floor plans to check their location or ask at an enquiry desk.

Oversize books

Larger books (Quartos) are shelved in separate sequences on each floor. If a book on the catalogue has a class number preceded by the word 'oversize' then you should look in one of these separate sequences. Oversize books have a 'Q' on their spines.

Folio and elephant sized books

These are books which are larger than oversize, and are marked F and E respectively on their spines.

Reference collections

There are reference sections on the 1st and 2nd floors of the Library. These are subject related, the 1st floor collection covering social sciences and education and the 2nd floor covering arts and humanities. Books in these sections can be identified by the R at the end of the class number on their spines.

Other reference only copies of books have a yellow band round them and are kept with the loanable copies on the main shelves.

Reserve stock books

The Library has a collection of books that are available for users to borrow but are kept on closed access in a library store instead of on the open shelves. If the words 'Reserve Stock' precede the class number of a book on the library catalogue then fill out a request form available from Special Collections on the ground floor.

Showcase books

Some books which are valuable, rare or fragile are kept in Showcases. If Showcase appears in the location of a book on the catalogue, please ask for it at the Special Collections office on the ground floor. You will need your Goldsmiths card, as all Showcase books are issued to you, even when they are for reference use in the Library.

Periodicals and newspapers

The Library subscribes to a wide range of periodicals. This includes five English and four foreign-language daily newspapers, and a variety of current research publications. The Library also has a number of discontinued runs of periodicals, which may include back issues relevant to your area of study. Periodicals are not available for loan and must be used in the Library.

Periodical holdings are located in four main areas of the Rutherford Building (RB):

ItemLocation
Newspapers Ground floor
Social Science periodicals 1st floor
Arts and Humanities periodicals       2nd floor
Certain back issues Reserve stock

Most periodicals are kept in classified order on the shelves, with current issues of titles kept on display racks. Back issues of some periodicals are kept separately from the main sequence, in the reserve stock, and can be requested in the same way as reserve stock books. You can use the catalogue to search for periodicals in the Library.

Electronic journals

Certain periodicals are available online, and the Library has access to electronic journals which are available on the Library catalogue. For more information, please ask at the Library enquiry desks.