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STS.467: The History of Aviation: Find Books

Library research resources and tips for STS.467, Spring 2014

Finding Books at MIT

Books About MIT

The MIT Institute Archives and Special 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. Search here first!

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."

For more on keyword vs. subject searching, see the Information Navigator.

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.

Finding Books Outside of MIT

Use WorldCat and HOLLIS to identify books (and other material) available outside of the MIT Libraries, and then use Interlibrary Borrowing (ILB) or Borrow Direct (through MIT's Worldcat) to have those items delivered to MIT. Or get a Harvard College Library Special Borrowers Card or BLC card to visit other area libraries to check out books and other materials in person.

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 libraries in the Boston area own the book you need.

Harvard's online catalog.



We love library tools, but sometimes informal approaches work better. You can:

  • get leads from footnotes and bibliographies in books and articles or
  • use call numbers to browse the stacks or Barton for similar books.