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Institute for the Study of the Ancient World



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Using the Library

Finding materials in the NYU Library Catalog and in the ISAW Library


Book Scanner

Book requests from Bobst

Book requests from other libraries (E-ZBorrow and ILL)

Electronic books & journals

Course reserves

Food & drink policy

Guest policy

Finding materials in the NYU Library Catalog and in the ISAW Library

The ISAW Library collection is cataloged in Bobcat, the NYU Libraries online catalog. When conducting a search in Bobcat, you can limit your results to materials available at ISAW (both in print and electronically) by using the “Library (New York University)” facet on the lefthand side of the search results screen.

Our books and journals are classified using the Library of Congress Classification system. Our collection is divided into several shelving locations, based primarily on size. In addition to the LC call number, you will also need to note the shelving location of the book in Bobcat, which is indicated to the left of the call number in Bobcat.

Holdings indicated on the “details” screen for a book in Bobcat:

Holdings indicated on the “GetIt” screen for an item in Bobcat:

Our shelving locations are:

  • Small Collection, LC call numbers A-GN: Middle floor of the stacks (between the 4th & 5th floors)
  • Small Collection, call numbers GR-Z: Lower floor of the stacks (between the 3rd & 4th floors)
  • Large Collection, call numbers A-F: Middle floor of the stacks
  • Large Collection, call numbers G-Z: Lower floor of the stacks
  • Oversize Collection, all call numbers: Upper floor of the stacks (5th floor)
  • Reference 3 Collection: 3rd floor, opposite the circulation desk
  • Reference 4 Collection: 4th floor reading room
  • Reference 5 Collection: 5th floor reading room
  • Oak Collection: The Oak Room on the 2nd floor of the building
  • Library 6 Collection: The 6th floor of the building, opposite the Exhibitions Department staff offices
  • Antiquarian 2 Collection: Locked cabinets in the Oak Room-- Inquire at the circulation desk for access


All books in the ISAW Library collection are non-circulating, and must remain within the building at all times.

You may keep books in your carrel long-term. For items being kept in your carrel, please fill out a circulation card (available on the reshelving trucks and at the circulation desk) with the date, author and title of the book (abbreviated if necessary), the complete call number, your name, and your carrel number.

If you are using a book short-term (for a single day or less), you do not need to complete a circulation card, but please return the book to the circulation desk so that it can be reshelved promptly.

If you pass a book on to another student or researcher, please update the card in the stacks with the new location of the book.

To help us locate materials for other library patrons or for staff use when you are away from your desk, we also ask that all ISAW Library materials be kept visible on your desk or in the student shelving near your carrel; ISAW Library books should not be placed in closed cabinets or drawers.

Please do not reshelve library books. Instead, either return them to the circulation desk or leave them on the reshelving trucks in the readings rooms on the 4th or 5th floors. In order to accurately track what materials in our library are most useful to our patrons, we need to scan items when they are used. Allowing library staff to reshelve materials also minimizes the likelihood of an item being shelved in the incorrect location.

Book Scanner

The library’s scanner is located in the reading room on the 5th floor.

Please be mindful of other patrons’ needs when using the scanner. If others are waiting to use the scanner, please limit your use to 15 minutes or less.

The library scanner must be used in accordance with principles of Fair Use. Fair use allows limited use of copyrighted material without permission for purposes such as criticism, parody, news reporting, research and scholarship, and teaching. For more information on fair use, please see NYU’s copyright guide.

Images can be edited during your scanning session. You can change the resolution of the image, change between black-and-white and color images, crop images, and adjust the brightness and contrast.

The scanner has a variety of output options, including searchable PDF (with OCR/text recogntion), quick PDF (without OCR/text recognition), JPG, and RTF. Files can be saved to USB, sent via e-mail, or saved to online storage.

For assistance with scanner functions, inquire at the circulation desk.

For technical problems with the scanner, inquire at the circulation desk or notify Kristen Soule.

Book requests from Bobst

ISAW-based patrons can request most books in the collection of Bobst Library for delivery to ISAW. Most requested items are delivered within 3 business days; items stored in Bobst’s offsite depository will typically take an additional 1-2 days.

To request an item, first log in to Bobcat using the “login” link in the upper righthand corner. It is sometimes necessary to log in more than once, so if the request function is not working, the problem may correct itself if you click the login link again.

The Request functions appear somewhat different depending on where in the catalog you are. The “GetIt” screen (usually accessed by clicking on an item’s title) appears this way:

If you access the holdings information through the “details” or “more bibliographic information” pages, the request button will appear on the lefthand side:

In both cases, the request box will be pre-filled with Bobst as the default pickup location. Be sure to change the pickup location to “ISAW” before you click “submit.”

For most Bobst items, it is also possible to request a scan of a limited portion of the item rather than physical delivery. Typically, only a small portion of a work can be requested (1-2 individual articles or chapters, provided they do not exceed 20% of the entire item). To request a scan, provide as much information as possible regarding the author, title, and page numbers of the section you are requesting, and be sure the scan request bubble, rather than the delivery bubble, is selected.

Book requests from other libraries (E-ZBorrow and ILL)

Materials that are not held in NYU’s libraries can often be requested from another library. NYU is a member of the E-ZBorrow consortium, which provides expedited interlibrary loan services from the collections of 50 member institutions. To search E-ZBorrow directly, follow this link.

You can also access E-ZBorrow from within Bobcat. On any search results page, click the “Request a Book from E-ZBorrow” link on the righthand side of the page. This will bring you to a pre-filled E-ZBorrow search using the same search terms you entered in Bobcat.

Books that have copies marked “Requestable” within the E-ZBorrow consortium can be delivered to ISAW. Simply select ISAW as your delivery location in the pulldown menu and click “Request.” Note that the full list of holdings must be displayed before the request box will appear, which can take some time for items that are held by a large number of libraries in the consortium. Also note that books that have a circulating copy available within the NYU library system typically cannot be requested from E-ZBorrow. E-ZBorrow books typically arrive to ISAW in about a week.

For items that are not held at NYU or in the E-ZBorrow consortium, a request can be placed through NYU’s Interlibrary Loan department by visiting this link, choosing the appropriate material type, and filling out the corresponding form. All fields marked with an asterisk must be completed. Including the item’s OCLC number, which can be found in Worldcat, can expedite your request.

Electronic books & journals

Many electronic resources are only available to users who are logged in to Bobcat. To access the full range of digital resources available to you, be sure to log in to Bobcat using the “Login” button in the upper righthand corner of the screen. When searching for materials in a particular database (JSTOR, ProQuest, etc.), it is best to navigate via the “Articles and Databases” section of Bobcat, which automates the institutional login process.

Course reserves

Instructors of some ISAW courses place materials on reserve. Course reserve materials are kept on a book truck on the third floor of the library, and are organized by course. Reserve materials are indicated with a yellow bookband; please do not remove this bookband from the books.

Course reserve items have a pre-filled tan circulation card. When using a course reserve item, please indicate on the card where the book has been removed to and leave it on the Course Reserves cart.

Items on reserve are intended to be readily available, and thus may not be taken to your carrel long-term. They should be returned to the Reserves cart within 4 hours.

Food & drink policy

 In order to keep the library’s collections, equipment, and furnishings clean, food of any kind and uncovered beverages are prohibited in the library. Beverages with secure covers are allowed in the reading rooms, but are not permitted near library equipment (computers, scanners, etc.) or in the stacks. Please exercise care and caution with beverages.

Student carrels located on the third floor are exempted from this policy (i.e., you may take food and uncovered beverages to your carrel). However, here as everywhere, please take care to protect library books from damage from spills, crumbs, etc.

Guest policy

Academic guests from outside the immediate ISAW community are generally welcome to use the reading rooms on the 4th and 5th floors. However, please be aware that any patrons who do not have after-hours access to the library stacks are expected to leave the library by 5:00 PM. If you are working on a collaborative project with a guest and would like a place to work after 5:00 PM, please use a space outside the library.