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American Literature Subject Guide: Books and E-books

Finding Print and E-books

Print and ebooks can be found using the Library's catalog. To search the catalog, enter your search terms below. 

Find Books by Call Number

Books in the collection are arranged by subject area. Sometimes it can be useful to browse the collection for resources. Below are the call numbers associated with American Literature titles. 

Browse by Call Numbers:

PS1-3626 American literature

PS126-138 Biography, memoirs, letters, etc.

PS147-152 Women authors

PS163-173 Treatment of special subjects, classes

PS185-195 17th-18th centuries

PS201-217 19th century

PS221-228 20th century

PS229-231 21st century

PS241-286 Special regions, states, etc. ​

PS301-326 Poetry

PS330-353 Drama

PS360-380 Prose

PS400-408.2 Oratory

PS409 Diaries

PS410-419 Letters

PS420-429 Essays

PS430-439 Wit and humor. Satire

PS(451)-478 Folk literature

PS490 Juvenile literature (General)

PS501-689 Collections of American literature


PS700-3576 Individual authors

PS700-893 Colonial period (17th and 18th centuries)

PS991-(3390) 19th century

PS3500-3549 1900-1960

PS3550-3576 1961-2000

PS3600-3626 2001-

PS(8001-8599) Canadian literature

Searching the Library Catalog for Books and E-books

Searching for a print book, E-book, print journal, or video in the library is can be done through the catalog. The catalog can look overwhelming, but if you follow the steps in this guide you should be able to confidently find materials in the library.

What can you find in the catalog:

  • Books
  • E-books
  • Print Journals/Periodicals
  • Journal and Newpaper Articles
  • Movies (DVDs/VHS)
  • Print Maps
  • Print Music Sheets
  • Streaming Media 

What you won't find in the catalog:

To access the library catalog click on the Search Discovery Catalog in the left side menu of the library homepage.

search discovery catalog

WMS screenshot of search results

To search for a book by subject in the catalog, you need to develop a list of KEYWORDS (see Developing Keywords) that you will use in the search. Do not use full sentences, the extra words in a sentence will muddy your results.

Sample correct search: Cloning and Ethics and Human*

Sample incorrect search: Is it ethical to clone humans? 

After you search your keywords you can then narrow your results down to books and eBooks using the format filter. You can also limit your search results to books that are on your local campus if you want a book you can pick up today. You can borrow books from any campus library but it may take a few days for it to get to your location.

Important note: If you want to see ebook results you can only limit your search to "Libraries Worldwide" or "Fairleigh Dickinson Libraries". If you limit your results to one campus library, ebooks will no longer show up in your results.


 Selecting a Search Result

WMS book result

Once you have narrowed your search you can then look at the results. You will notice eBooks list a "View eBook" button below the book's title while print books state the book is held by FDU libraries. To find out more information about the book or to find the book's call number and location, click on the book's title. 

WMS book detail result

When trying to locate a book in the collection, you will need to write down the entire call number. A partial call number will get you in the general area where the book is shelved, but there may be hundreds of other books that start with the same number.


To search for a book by author click on the Advanced Search link at the right of the search box. 

Author search

From here select Author from the drop down menu. Enter your author's name as last name, first name. For instance if you were looking for books written by Thomas Jefferson you will get better results searching Jefferson, Thomas. If you are only interested in books or eBooks you will still need to select it under the format options in the left hand menu.

author search advanced search

In the search results, you should see your author listed under the title of each entry. To view more information about the book click on the title. 

Author search results


Advanced searching allows you to perform more specific searches than the Basic Search by using limiters. Limiters can reduce your number of results by various criteria, including date of publication, location, and type of resource. To perform an Advanced Search, click the Advanced Search link to the right of the main search box. Here you will be able to choose different fields to search such as title, keyword, author, publisher etc. 

Enter your search terms in the boxes provided using the AND, OR, or NOT operators as appropriate. *For more information on the use of AND, OR, and NOT, see Search Strategies: AND, OR, NOT.

Below the search boxes you can also choose to limit your search to a particular format, i.e. books, articles, videos, etc., choose a date range, or select a library to  search. If you're searching for articles you also have the option to limit them to peer-reviewed or scholarly articles. 

Advanced Search





To view the course reserves, click on the Course Reserves link in the upper right corner of the catalog. From here you will be able to browse the courses with reserves available or search by course  or instructor. 

Course reserves button

Browse course reserves

The results list will give you a list of the courses that match your search. Clicking on a course will show you what items are available and where you can find it.