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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Poetry and Short Stories: Find a Book

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Library of Congress call numbers

Here are the relevant Library of Congress call number ranges for literature:

PN Literature, Literary History and Collections
PN1-9 Periodicals
PN80-99 Criticism
PN101-245 Authorship
PN441-1009.5 Literary history
PN451-497 Biography
PN597-605 Special relations, movements, and currents of literature
PN611-649 Ancient
PN661-694 Medieval (to 1500)
PN683-687 Legends
PN688-691 Poetry
PN692-693 Prose; Prose fiction
PN715-749 Renaissance (1500-1700)


PR English Literature
PR1-56              Literary history and criticism
PR57-78 Criticism
PR111-116 Women authors
PR125-138.5 Relations to other literatures and countries
PR171-488 Critical and historical works
PR171-236 Anglo-Saxon (Beginnings through 1066)
PR251-369 Medieval; Middle English (1066-1500)
PR401-488 Modern (Elizabethan era - 21st century)
PR500-614 Critical and historical works: Poetry
PR621-744 Critical and historical works: Drama
PR750-890 Critical and historical works: Prose (Prose Fiction; the Novel)
PR901-907.2 Oratory
PR908 Diaries
PR911-918 Letters
PR921-928 Essays
PR931-938 Wit and humor
PR951-981 Folk literature
PR1098-1369 Collections of English literature
PR1490-1799 Anglo-Saxon literature
PR1803-2165 Anglo-Norman period. Early English. Middle English
PR2199-3195 English Renaissance (1500-1640)
PR3291-3785 English literature: 17th and 18th centuries (1640-1770)
PR3991-5990 English literature: 19th century, 1770/1800-1890/1900
PR8309-9680 English literature: Provincial, local, etc.


Finding Books

Step One: UIUC Online Library Catalog

There are two ways to search the UIUC Library catalog. Both offer the same content but the method of searching and presentation of results varies.

  1. Through the new Primo Library Catalog. This catalog requires you to register with a login and a password to request materials. It also lets you search books in I-share (see below for more details.)
  2. Through the Library Easy Search. This interface lets you search the UIUC catalog for books, articles, journals and media. . 

Getting the actual book: When you locate your item you have two choices.

Print books

You can request the item and pick it up at any of the departmental libraries. Or, you can retrieve the book yourself from either the main stacks or the departmental library where the book is located. If you choose this option, make sure you jot down the location and call number of the item.

Electronic Books

Access will depend on the publisher. In some case you will be able to download full books via PDF. In others you might be able only to view the book online. In all cases the Library follow the publisher's requirements.

What if my book is not in the UIUC Online Library Catalog?

Step Two: I-Share

Once you have verified that the book you are looking for is either not located in the UIUC catalog or all copies are checked out, you may order it through Primo Library Catalog and selecting "All I-share Libraries." Items typically arrive within 5-10 days and you will receive an email when the item is available for pick up.

What if my book is not available in I-Share?

Step Three: Interlibrary Loan

If the item is not available in the UIUC catalog or through I-Share, then your next stop will be Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery. First, keep your full citation handy -- you'll need it. Second, login to the ILLiad server using your NetID and password. From the ILLiad main menu, select "Request a Book." Be sure to fill out as much of the form as possible, including the source of your citation. This will ensure that ILL can place your request in a timely manner. You'll be notified by email when your item is ready to be picked up.

WorldCat -You can search WorldCat to find books on your topic, which might not be in the UIUC nor the I-share catalog. Once you find a title of interest, you can order it through Interlibrary Loan

More Help with the Library Catalog

Example Subject Headings for Poetry


American Poetry

American Poetry-21st Century

Poetry/ Women Authors

Poetry/ Diversity and Multicultural


Subject Headings

A subject heading is a special type of category that groups together materials in the Library that share a topic, author, discipline, or particular format. While simple keyword searches are a good start for finding materials, a subject heading search is an advanced type of search that often produces much more precise and targeted results that are often exactly what you need.

The subject headings used in the Library catalog are standardized Library of Congress headings, which may be subdivided by geographic area, chronological period, genre, or sub-topic. The language of subject headings is not particularly intuitive or natural, so you shouldn’t hesitate to ask a librarian for help in finding the correct subject headings.

A good way to find catalog subject headings for your topic is to do a keyword search in the Library's Primo Catalog. For example, let's say you look for "Charles Dickens" and you see the following record in your results:

chaucer record

Look in the "Topics" field: these are the subject headings for this book. The subject headings in the online catalog are hyperlinked, so simply click on the heading you're interested in, and it will automatically launch a search for books under that heading.

It's best to use both fairly broad headings as well as specific ones, in order to make sure you don't miss any relevant material. You'll likely find multiple headings that are relevant to your topic, and you will find a variety of resources if you look at all of them.