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21W.021: Inside MIT: Books & Articles

Sources on MIT history, particularly student life

Finding Books at MIT

Books About MIT

The Department of Distinctive Collections have posted a list of books about MIT.

Barton, the MIT Libraries' Catalog
Barton includes books and journal titles owned by all of the MIT Libraries.

You can use Barton for both primary and secondary sources. It does not list journal articles.

Using Barton: Keywords vs. Subjects
Keywords are words normal people would think of. They can appear ANYWHERE in the record (title, author, subject, publisher, notes, etc., etc.).

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) are "officially sanctioned" by the Library of Congress; you will never guess them on your own. They appear in the “Subject” section of a Barton record.

You can use keywords or titles to figure out subject headings (and remember: use this same strategy with other catalogs and databases!).

  • Do a "Title begins with" Barton search for Designing MIT. You'll see that possible LCSH subject to search is "Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- Buildings -- Design and construction."
  • Do a "Keyword" search for "MIT" AND "dormitor*." You'll see the relevant LCSH subject heading, "Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- Student housing."

Using Barton: Basic vs. Advanced Search
Basic search is good for title, author, and keyword searching. With advanced search, you can combine searches and limit by language, format, and library.

Article Databases

Finding Books Outside of MIT

Use WorldCat identify books (and other material) available outside of the MIT Libraries, and then use BorrowDirect or Interlibrary Borrowing (ILB) to have those items delivered to MIT. 

WorldCat includes books owned by libraries around the world; it's useful for the serious researcher who needs to go beyond the scope of the MIT Libraries. WorldCat indicates which other libraries own the book you need, and gives you the option to request a book from another Borrow Direct library for delivery to MIT.

Subject Guide

Other ways to get help


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