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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

African Studies

Finding books



Every non-fiction library book has subject headings assigned to classify it. Sometimes using key words will find you books on your subject, but except for very specific searches with distinctive words, using subject headings (known as LCSH's, or Library of Congress subject headings) will usually retrieve more books than just a keyword search.

Use key words to get LCSH's for better results. See the PowerPoint on this search strategy.

Also, remember to take your searches, if you like, from the local to the national/international level, by using Worldcat. If we have four or five books on subject x, and you want or need more information, search Worldcat using the same LCSH's you used for our catalog, and if you find books we don't own, you can order them by using Interlibrary loan (ILL). PowerPoint presentations on using Worldcat and ILL are on the home page of this guide.

Library catalogs

Call numbers

Call letters/numbers for Africa run from DT1 to DT995. A longer (but older) list, with individual country call numbers, can be found here. DT is shelved on floor 14 of the Du Bois Library.