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Art & Design Research Guide

A guide to art & design resources at UMSL Libraries and on the web.

Text: Finding books. Red background


The library's main search tool for books, articles, and more. Use this tool to find both print and e-books available at UMSL.

Text: Guide to Discover@UMSL. Next to yellow mouse icon and above red and yellow search bar.


Option 1: Keyword Search

  1. Type in your search terms
  2. Click "Search"
  3. Under "Limit By Source Type" (on the left side of the screen), select Books or eBooks (you can select both). Some eBooks may show up in the Books category due to the way they are catalogued.

Option 2: Title or Author Search

  1. Type the title or author's name into the search bar
  2. Select either "Title" or "Author" from the drop-down menu to the right of the search bar
  3. Click "Search"
  4. Under "Limit By Source Type" (on the left side of the screen), select Books or eBooks (you can select both). Some eBooks may show up in the Books category due to the way they are catalogued.

Option 3Advanced Search

  1. Select the Advanced Search option (underneath the Search Bar)
  2. Use the search bar(s) to type in your terms
  3. In the Select a Field drop-down menus, select what type of search you would like to run.
    • Useful options for book searches include Title, Author, Subject Terms, or ISBN
  4. Adjust other limiters if needed
  5. Click "Search"


A consortium of academic, research, and public libraries that work together to share materials. It is free for you to request MOBIUS books! They will be sent to the Thomas Jefferson Library front desk for pickup.

  1. Type in your search terms
  2. Click the gray right-facing arrow
  3. Search results will already contain mostly books. To limit further, use the Format limiter on the left side of the screen and select Book/Journal or eBooks

Note: You can only request books that other libraries in MOBIUS have in print.

Finding a Book on the Shelf

Finding a Book Using the Online Record


Print books are organized using the Library of Congress classification system.  The Locations tab will tell you where to find the book.  For example:

Screenshot of Impressionism book record. Location: UMSL TJL General Collection Level 4. Call No.: N547.5 I4 H684 2004


  • Location tells us the book is on Level 4.
  • Call # helps us find the book on the shelf.  Books are first organized alphabetically, so look for the section with books labelled ND (between NC and NE).  Then, use the following numbers and letters to search numerically and alphabetically for the right book.  The book may or may not have a publication year at the end.
  • Status tells us the book is available, i.e., not currently checked out.

Other books nearby on the shelf will also be about the same or similar topics!  Use this information to browse for books you may not have found in the online catalog.

Can't find it on the shelf?  Check with the front desk!

Browsing the Stacks

As mentioned above, our library is organized using the Library of Congress system. Books about similar topics are grouped together. We recommend using the Discover@UMSL search if you are looking for a specific topic.

If you would still like to browse the arts section, you can find it on Level 4 of TJ library.

Library of Congress: Fine Arts

N: Fine Arts

  • N: Visual arts
    • N1 - 58: General
    • N61 - 72: Theory. Philosophy. Aesthetics of the visual arts
    • N81 - 390: Study and teaching. Research
    • N5300 - 7418: History
  • NA: Architecture
  • NB: Sculpture
  • NC: Drawing. Design. Illustration
    • NC1 - 45: General, including collective biography
    • NC50 - 266: History of drawing
    • NC703 - 725: General works
    • NC730 - 758: Technique
    • NC950 - (996): Illustration
    • NC997 - 1003: Commercial art. Advertising art
  • ND: Painting
    • ND25 - (48): General
    • ND49 - 813: History
    • ND1115 - 1120: Study and teaching
    • ND1130 - 1156: General works
    • ND1288 - 1460: Special subjects
    • ND1470 - 1625: Technique and materials
  • NE: Print media
  • NK: Decorative arts
    • NK1 - 570: General
    • NK600 - 806: History
    • NK1648 - 1678: Religious art
  • NX: Arts in general
    • NX1 - 260: General
    • NX280 - 410: Study and teaching. Research
    • NX440 - 632: History of the arts