Demystifying library catalogues in the University

I promised a post about the different catalogues you might use in the University, so here it is!

You may well have come across some or all of the following catalogues when looking for books and other items: Heritage, Newton, LibrarySearch, LibrarySearch+. At first sight this may seem a bit bewildering, but let me explain in turn what the coverage of each catalogue is, and why/when you should use it.


You don’t have to look too far for resources.

Heritage: This is the catalogue for Homerton College Library. To find details of everything in the Library, and information on whether it is on loan, you need to use Heritage. You can also use Heritage to renew and reserve items from Homerton.

You may well have seen listings for Homerton items on the other catalogues, and perhaps even noticed that you cannot see whether an item is on loan or not (no information available). This is because the live information about loans is not currently held on those other catalogues. We are looking to see if there is anything we can do to change this, but it may be that the only solution is to change our Library Management System. This is no quick or easy task, so for now the Heritage catalogue will be the best place for Homerton information.

There are also some items in the Library that are not yet listed anywhere except on Heritage. This is something we are working on, and have prioritised material for Tripos studies over children’s literature, CDs etc, but again, it will take some time before everything is listed anywhere except the Heritage catalogue.

Newton: This is the catalogue for the whole University, and is so large that it is divided into multiple databases. All Faculty and departmental libraries and the University Library are on Newton, and you can login to renew your books at any of those libraries. To use Newton you need to select which database you wish to search, so cannot find out information about where a book is located across the University without repeating searches in different databases.

LibrarySearch: LibrarySearch is a ‘discovery service’ product. It is a piece of software that pulls the information from all of the Newton databases into a single results list, giving a much quicker comprehensive list of where a book is held than Newton can. Because the information comes from Newton you will be able to see Homerton books listed, but not whether they are currently on loan or not.

LibrarySearch+: LibrarySearch+ takes searching to a higher level. It contains the same amalgamated book data as LibrarySearch, but also has fairly comprehensive records for journals, often down to an article level. So you can search for an article title and be redirected to the relevant database or journal website to gain access to the article (you may need to use your Raven password to access the article for free).

However, LibrarySearch+ is still currently in beta testing, so occasional bugs can occur, and there is still some work to be done on its look and functionality. As with LibrarySearch, most of Homerton’s books are listed, but without availability information. And, whilst the journal listings are impressive, not everything you can access freely through the University is indexed, so it shouldn’t be relied on as the one point to find journals and articles. Instead you should use…

eresources@cambridge: This is not a catalogue as such, but is the best, most comprehensive listing of databases and ejournals available to University members. There are lists of resources by subject, you can search for a particular journal title (but not individual articles), or you can browse the databases available to you, everything from Early English Books Online (EEBO) to ScienceDirect, and resources like ArtStor and the British Cartoon Archive.


About homlib

The Library of Homerton College, University of Cambridge.
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