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Research Guides

Guide to Research in Special Collections: Using the library catalog

This guide will show you how to search Special Collections materials.

The Library Catalog

The UW Library Catalog has records for most, if not all, cataloged material in the entire UW Library System. This includes books and archival material in Special Collections. Searching the whole catalog can be really useful if you’re looking for a specific book and willing to go any of the libraries to get it (or you’re interested in requesting it via interlibrary loan). But, if you’re trying to find what we have in UW Special Collections specifically, there is a better way.

1. Go to the UW Library Catalog and type in your search. Hit enter on your keyboard or click the search button. 

A screenshot of the UW Library Catalog homepage with the word "law" typed in the search box

2. Once you get to the next page, click “Articles, Books, and More” to open the drop down menu and select UW Special Collections.

A screenshot of the UW Library Catalog with an arrow pointing to the "articles, books, and more" drop down menu and a circle around "special collections" at the bottom of the menu

3. Click the magnifying glass to run your search with your new parameters.

A screenshot of the UW Libraries catalog with a circle around the magnifying glass at the end of the search bar

Once you've run the search with these new parameters, your search results will only show items that are in Special Collections. Make sure to bring as much information as you can with you when you come in to view material. This will help us locate your items for you as soon as possible!