Find Books, Articles and More

How to find books and articles, and other research materials.

Finding Books

Catalyst is the JHU libraries online catalog found on the Library Homepage. Catalyst searches almost everything the JHU library owns or subscribes to including books, ebooks, journal articles, and media owned by the library. This is the best place to look for books and ebooks for your research.

You can do a simple search or use the Advanced Search feature, refining your search with the limiters on the left side once you have done a search. Remember to sign in to save your results and request items. 

Regardless of how you choose to search for materials in the library at JHU, all electronic materials should be available for immediate access using your JHED, the same single sign on credentials you use to access your JHU email and other apps featured on my.JH.


During the Library's  planning for the 2024 renovation, most of our print books are in offsite storage (see the Requesting Materials tab). For books located in the library you first need the call number, which you can find online when you look up the book in Catalyst. Use the diagram below to help you locate books. 


The first character is always a letter. This indicates the section where you can find the book. 2. There may be a second letter after the first character. This tells you to move past all the "B" books and find "BA." 3. Once in the proper section, look for the number. It starts at 1, and goes up. 4. After you get to the number, look at the letter after the decimal. Find the letter. 5. The next numbers are decimals; .B16 comes before .B2. 6. The last part of the label may have a publication year, but not always. This is important if you are looking for a specific edition of a book.

You can use the search box on the library homepage to search and request materials in Catalyst, the discovery tool (i.e., catalog) of the JHU Libraries.

Print materials, regardless of whether they circulate or not, can be requested for check out or in-library use. To do so, you must first sign in with your JHED under "Get It" in any given print record: 

box showing how the Get It screen looks: please sign in to check if there are any request options with sign in button


Once you've authenticated, you can request print materials that circulate by clicking the "Request from JH" button. Books arrive from storage usually within 24 hours. If you would like only a chapter or two, you can use the Interlibrary Loan button at the top of the page. 

box showing Request from JH button on Catalyst


Copies of materials which are owned by JHU but which are currently unavailable can be requested through BorrowDirect or Interlibrary Loan: 

Box showing where Check Borrow Direct and Go to Interlibrary loan appear on page

When in doubt about which to use, opt for Interlibrary Loan, since BorrowDirect items can be acquired through both forms.