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Find a Book

The Taylor Library contains over 43,000 printed books. To find a book, you'll need to use one of the University's online catalogues (instructions below). Please come and ask one of the librarians for help if you have difficulty finding a book.

Search the catalogues

All books in the Taylor Library can be found on the online University catalogue, iDiscover, which can also be accessed via the Cambridge Libraries page from any computer. 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

Without restriction, iDiscover will return records that contain the search terms from all locations in the University. If you wish to search for books held only in the Taylor Library, it is important to restrict the search to Corpus Christi College by selecting the location from the drop-down menu on the right of the search box (circled in red below). Then click the search icon to the right to obtain a list of results.

Lists of Results

Initial results will display all media types, including DVDs, eBook and physical copies of books (priority is not given to physical copies). Note that 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 of the item that you are interested in to obtain the full holding information. This can be done by clicking on the title.


Clicking on the title of a result  will give you an expanded record for the book. 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 is available in Corpus Christi College, Taylor Library, 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.

Once you have the classmark you can then find the physical location of the book using the link to floor plans and classification key on this page.