"I have a list of articles I want. Now what do I do?"

Step 1: Start with a complete citation for each article, including, if possible, the periodical or newspaper name in full (not just an abbreviation), date, volume and/or issue number, pages, and—last but not least—author(s) and title of the article. In short, make a note of all the details about the article as they are given in the database, index, footnote, bibliography, or faculty recommendation.

Step 2: Search Princeton's Main Catalog to find the location and call number of the periodical. On the Basic Search page, select "journal title" and type in the title of the journal. Omit any initial articles (a, an, the). See this page for more detailed help with the Main Catalog.

Step 3: Once you've found the iten, look at the "long display" to see Princeton's precise holdings. The display that results will tell you which volumes are bound or in microformat, whether any are checked out or missing, and the publication's location(s) and call number(s) in campus libraries. The display will also indicate where the most recent, unbound issues are shelved. Be sure to match the exact volume you need to the holdings information.

Step 4: If the periodical is located in Firestone, refer to the green sheet headed "Call Number Information" to learn the floor and region where the bound volumes are shelved, adjacent to books on the same subject. If the periodical is located somewhere other than Firestone, refer to the sheet headed "Designated Locations" to learn which building or special collection houses the volumes.

Step 5: When you find the bound volumes, refer back to your complete citation from Step 1 so you can retrieve the year and issue containing the article you need.


This procedure works for all so-called serials, a term which includes magazines, periodicals, scholarly journals, bulletins, working papers, newspapers, and other publications to which Princeton subscribes.

If you have difficulty searching the Main Catalog, or with any other part of this process, confer with staff on duty at any public service desk.

M. George
Firestone Library 
Fall 1999