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Research Guides

Overview of Engineering Library – Services and Facilities

Engineering Library Website:

Engineering Library Autumn/Winter/Spring Quarter Hours: M-Th 8-10, F 8-6, Sa 12-5, Su 1-10

Engineering Library e-mail:

Engineering Reference Desk:  206-543-0741   (M-Th 10-6, F 10-5, Su 1-5) 

Group study rooms are available on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors.  They are available on a first come, first served basis.  Individuals using any of those rooms will be asked to relocate if a group wishes to use that space.  Tables for group or individual use are available on the 1st and 2nd floors.  The 3rd and 4th floors are for quiet study only with the exception of the group study rooms.  A computer lab with 15 machines is available on the 3rd floor. 

A networked printer and microform reader/copier/scanner are available on the 1st floor.  One BookScan station is located on the 1st floor and two flatbed scanners are located in the Engineering Library Instruction Center on the 3rd floor.

Location of / Access to Engineering Library Resources by type of information

Key = type of info / location / how to access

Fundamental data, formulas, properties, and guidance / Engineering Reference, 1st floor, plus electronic reference resources / Reference librarian or UW Libraries catalog

Research databases, Web access, full-text electronic resources / all workstations on the 1st floor or any computer using a UW IP address or the UW Libraries proxy server / Reference librarian or Engineering Library Website

E-mail / all workstations on the first floor / login for non-guest workstations, open to UW e-mail for remaining workstations on the floor

Books, conference proceedings / Engineering Stacks, 3rd and 4th floors / UW Libraries catalog

Journals, magazines / Engineering Periodicals, 2nd floor for print, plus electronic access / UW Libraries catalog

Technical reports, NASA paper series / Engineering Microforms, 3rd floor / NTIS database, UW Libraries catalog

Industry standards, test methods, military specifications / Engineering Standards, 1st floor / various standards databases available via the Engineering Library Website

Patents and patent searching and application information / Patent print resources in the Engineering Library, 1st floor / USPTO Website ( , patent full text 1790 to date) – searching assistance from a reference librarian

Accessing the Reference Collection

Print reference items are shelved on the 1st floor and can be found by searching the UW Libraries catalog or asking at the reference desk.  Some useful books on mechanical design in the Reference Collection include:

Mark’s Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers   (TJ 151 .M375)
Mechanical Engineers Handbook   (TJ 151 .M395)
Machinery Handbook   (TJ 151 .M3)
Mechanical Engineer’s Data Handbook   (TJ 151 .C36)
Roark’s Formulas for Stress and Strain   (TA 407.2 .R6)
Standard Handbook of Engineering Calculations   (TA 332 .S73)
Mechanical Design Handbook   (TJ 230 .M433)
Standard Handbook of Machine Design   (TJ 230 .S8235)
Mechanisms & Mechanical Devices Sourcebook   (TJ 181 .M32)
Machine Design Data Handbook   (TJ 230 .L718)
SAE Handbook   (621.406 So1s)
Thomas Register of American Manufacturers   (T 12 .T62 or

A number of these are now available electronically.  Consult the UW Libraries catalog to see if a link to electronic access exists.

The reference area also contains print indexes to publications, mostly older material, not yet covered (and many never likely to be) by research databases.

Access is now available to a number of collections of engineering e-books, a large number of which would be considered reference books.  One collection is the science and engineering collection from Knovel.  A second is ENGnetBASE, from CRC Press.  Both can be found from searching the names of those resources in the Libraries catalog and then following the link to the e-content.

Accessing the Standards Collection

Search the UW Engineering Library standards database to ascertain which standards are available in the standards collection on the 1st floor at

To find both basic and detailed information about standards, to find information by topic or organization, and to access other standards-related Web-based resources, see

Some useful standards resources in mechanical engineering include:

ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Codes (Engr Standards: TJ 290 .A514)
Annual Book of ASTM Standards (Engr Standards: 620.1 Ame)
SAE Handbook, for SAE J reports (Reference: 621.406 So1s, Engr Media, on CD, a/o 2006)
Some military standard and specs are available free via ILI Standards Infobase (see the link in the Libraries catalog)
IEEE Xplore (electronic IEEE standards -

Accessing the Patent and Trademark Depository

Basic and more detailed Engineering Library-related patent information can be found at


The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has increased the depth of their searchable files and the amount of full-text they offer (, and you’ll need a TIFF viewer plug-in for viewing full-text).  This is where we now refer all patent and trademark searchers.

Accessing Books and Conference Proceedings

Books and conference proceedings owned by the UW Libraries can be found using the Libraries online catalog.  (Hint: search for conference proceeding using the name of the conference as the author, not the title.)  To find papers within conferences, use research databases first to get conference names, then the Libraries catalog to locate those conferences.

Accessing Journals (including e-journals) and their content

Journals owned by the UW Libraries (both print and electronic) can be found on the Libraries catalog.  Location information will be provided.  In the Engineering Library, journals are shelved alphabetically, not by call number, on the 2nd floor.

To find material within journals, use the various research databases available.  Some of the databases useful for mechanical design topics include:

Compendex (Engineering Index)
Web of Science / Science Citation Index

Accessing Technical Reports

Technical reports will be available for most non-classified research that was federally funded. To find a technical report, use both the Libraries Catalog (which will list a small number of reports individually) and the NTIS database (where you’ll need to find an accession number from the record for each report of interest). Most of those reports are available only on microfiche, are filed by accession number, and are available in the Engineering Library in the Microform collection area on the 3rd floor. Print or electronic copies of the reports can be made using the microform reader/printer or reader/printer/scanner on the 1st floor.

Accessing UW Libraries-supplied information remotely

To access UW-restricted information remotely, click on the “off-campus access” button in the top right corner of most Libraries Web pages.  See for more information).