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Research Guides

About This Guide

Dust Band Around the Nucleus of Black Eye Galaxy M64

Image credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI).

These are the guidelines by which materials are purchased for the Astronomy collections of the UW Libraries (Seattle Campus).  For questions or more information, please contact the Astronomy Librarian, Anya Bartelmann.

UW Libraries: Collection Goals

The UW Libraries is committed to providing convenient and timely access to collections and information resources that are outstanding with respect to their quality, depth, diversity, format and currency to support the research and teaching missions of the University of Washington.


This collection policy was created concurrently with the Collection Guidelines for Physics by UW Information School library science students Nicole Gustavsen and Sarah Pine, as part of their  2016 "Astronomy & Physics Collection Policy Update" capstone project. The project was sponsored by Anya Bartelmann, Physics, Astronomy & Math Librarian and Head of the Mathematics Research Library.

Subject Definition

Astronomy is the discipline concerned with the objects making up the physical Universe and with the study of their physical characteristics, compositions, motions, histories, and interrelationships, and with the physical laws governing them. 

The UW Astronomy department poetically describes astronomy as "the quest to make the Universe comprehensible, an adventure into the beginning of time and through the infinite recesses of space."

Subject Classification

Library of Congress Classification (LC):

  • Astronomy is classified in the QB schedule.
  • Relevant material also appears in QA: Mathematics, QC: Physics, and QD: Chemistry.


LC Astronomy schedule:

  • QB1-139:   General
  • QB140-237:   Practical & spherical astronomy
  • QB349-421:   Theoretical astronomy
  • QB460-466:   Astrophysics
  • QB468-480:   Non-optical methods of astronomy
  • QB495-903:   Solar System & stars
  • QB980-991:   Cosmology


Dewey Decimal Classification (Dewey materials are all located in remote storage):

  • The classification division for astronomy is the 520s.