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Waidner-Spahr Library

German: Finding Books

This guide highlights the most important library resources for German Studies at Dickinson.

Finding Books on German Language, Literature, and History

Library books are arranged on the shelves by topic according to the Library of Congress classification system. Each book is labeled with specific letters and numbers which determine its location. Here are three basic subclasses relevant to German studies:

DD German history

PF German language (including dictionaries)

PT German literature 

Listed below are several selected classification numbers and ranges with their corresponding topics.

DB1-DB879 History of Austria (including Austro-Hungarian Empire)

DD175-DD289.5 History of modern Germany from 1519-1989

DD290 History of Germany since 1990 

GR155-GR159 Folklore of Austria

GR165-GR169 Folklore of Germany 

PF3640 German-English dictionaries

PT83-PT873 History and criticism of German literature

PT1100-PT1374 Collections of German literature

PT1501-PT2688 Individual authors' works, criticism, biography, letters, memoirs, diaries 

This brief outline is only a starting point to help you begin browsing the library's book shelves. There are many more combinations of classification numbers and topics. Every book you find in the catalog will have a unique call number and location. You can search the catalog by author, title, subject, or keyword, and you can browse the catalog virtually by call number.

In addition to German literature and books about German topics, the library has thousands of books in German on many topics in many different subject areas. You can limit a search on any topic in the catalog to German language materials. Simply select "German" in the language block at the bottom of your search screen.

Can't find it?

If you find a book in the catalog with a Dewey Decimal call number and a location of storage, submit a storage request form and it will be retrieved for you. If you find a book in the catalog with a Dewey Decimal call number and a location of Archives & Special Collections, go to Archives and Special Collections on the library's lower level and request the book. (These books can only be used in the archives reading room.)

If a book you want is not in our catalog, or is checked out to someone else, you may request the book from other libraries.

Library Catalog

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How do I find a book in Dickinson Library?

How are books put in order on a shelf? .

Call numbers--What are they? How do they work? .