OskiCat Search Terms
Here are some terms you can use in OskiCat or Melvyl that may help you find books on your topic. Remember, these search engines only let you search brief information about the books - you're not searching in the full text of the books themselves! If you're not getting enough results, try leaving out some search terms, searching for a broader topic or using fewer terms, using Google Books, or asking a librarian.
All of these terms are Library of Congress subject headings -- which means you'll get the most complete results if you enter them exactly as typed. Uou can combine more than one term for a more focused search. Using the default Keyword search in OskiCat will usually give you the best results.
Google Books contains millions of scanned books, from libraries and publishers worldwide. You can search the entire text of the books, view previews or "snippets" from books that are still in copyright, and read the full text of out-of-copyright (pre-1923) books. Want to read the entire text of an in-copyright book? Use Google Books' Find in a Library link to locate the book in a UC Berkeley library, or search OskiCat to see if UC Berkeley owns the book.
Why use Google Books?
Library catalogs (like OskiCat) don't search inside books; using a library catalog, you can search only information about the book (title, author, Library of Congress subject headings, etc.). Google Books will let you search inside books, which can be very useful for hard-to-find information. Try it now:
Searching Library Catalogs
Use OskiCat to locate materials related to your topic, including books, government publications, and audio and video recordings, in the libraries of UC Berkeley. OskiCat will show you the location and availability of the items that we own.
- Using OskiCat (but not Melvyl) you can also renew your books online, look up course reserve materials by course number or instructor name, and place holds on items that other library users have already checked out.
Use Melvyl to locate materials related to your topic located at other campuses in the UC system, or worldwide. You can use the Request button to request an item from another library, if we don't own it.
- Using Melvyl (but not OskiCat) you can find articles as well as books, easily format a citation for copying into a bibliography, and see images of book covers, when available. Melvyl will also show you the location and availablity of items that we own.
Melvyl has changed as of January 2012, and now includes many more articles. Detailed Melvyl help
Finding Print and Electronic Books: OskiCat
OskiCat is the search engine for all the books in all the 20+ libraries on the Berkeley campus (except for the Law Library). Using OskiCat, you can find out what books the Cal libraries own, whether or not the books you want are checked out, and where the books are located on campus. You can also search OskiCat to find other items owned by libraries on campus, like magazines, journals, maps, archival materials, CDs/DVDs, and more.
OskiCat contains only brief descriptions of books, not the full text of the books themselves -- so choose your search words carefully. You have a better chance of finding the books you want if you limit your search to only a few, important terms.
- Not-so-good search: effects of gentrification on inner-city neighborhoods (0 results!)
- Good search: gentrification urban (107 results -- "urban" is a more commonly-used word in city planning than "inner-city", so it's a better word to use).
The Cal Libraries have over 10 million books, so if you can't find a book on your topic, you might be using the wrong search words. Ask a librarian for help!