Find a Book

The Taylor Library contains over 37,000 printed books. To find a book, you’ll need to use one of the University’s online catalogues (instructions below). If you have difficulty in finding your book, either in the catalogue or on the shelves, please come and ask one of the librarians for help. A key to the classification scheme, along with the library floorplans, is given on the library layout page. Other information for library users is available on the library information page.

Search the catalogues

All books in the Taylor Library can be found on the online University catalogues, including iDiscover and Newton, which can be accessed via the Cambridge Libraries page from any computer. These catalogues should be consulted first when looking for a book. Items can be searched by entering keywords (e.g. the author’s surname plus significant words from the title), or entering information such as the ISBN or publisher.

Restricting your search

If, for example, you want to find a copy of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, you might begin by entering the following keywords into iDiscover.

iDiscover search box


Unless the location is restricted, iDiscover will search for the occurrence of the terms in all records held in libraries in the University. If you wish to search for books in the Taylor Library, therefore, it is important to restrict the search to Corpus Christi College by selecting this location from the drop-down menu to the right of the search box (circled in red above). Once you click on the location you want, click the search icon to the right to obtain a list of results.

Lists of Results

An initial search will show results for all media types, including DVDs, ebooks and physical copies of books (priority is not given to physical copies). Multiple versions of a title can be grouped under one entry (example circled in red below) and Corpus Christi may not be explicitly listed as the holding location at the outset, even though a copy is held. It is imperative, therefore, to OPEN THE RESULT you are interested in to obtain the full holding information by clicking on the title.results_page_idiscover


Clicking on the title of a result  will give you an expanded record for the book (see example below). If you then scroll to the bottom of the record, further information about individual copies is given. Working with the record below, for example, a copy of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (OUP, 2008) is available is available in Corpus Christi College, Taylor Library (circled in red below), alongside other locations where the book is held.



Once you have found a record and the location, the most important piece of information to note about the book is its classmark. The classmark is a string of numbers and letters that is found on the spine of the book, telling you where to find the book on the shelves. Classmarks are given at the bottom of the record where location information is shown. A record can be shared by many libraries in Cambridge (because many copies of the same book may be present in different libraries), so it is important that you find the classmark for the library you are interested in. All classmarks in the Taylor Library conform to the following pattern (taken from the circled location above):


The initial letter indicates the broad subject area (W is is English Literature); the following numeral indicates the subdivision (4 contains the works of individual authors); the final string of letters are the first letters of the author’s surname (e.g. DIC for Charles Dickens). Books are shelved alphabetically within subdivisions according to the final string of letters in the classmark.

The location of the main subject divisions is given in the library layout pages.

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