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Whipple Library

Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Pile of books

Borrowable books

Most of our modern collections are available on open shelves in the Main Library Reading Room (Levels 1, 3 & 4; the entrance and staff desk occupy Level 2) and Old Library, and most items are borrowable.

Books are classified by subject in an alphabetical sequence. Use our online catalogue via iDiscover to find the classmark for the book you need:

e.g. L3.DEA 3

The classmark functions like a GPS co-ordinate to take you straight where you should find the book on the shelf.

Books in classes A to H7 are in the Old Library (down the steps from the entrance Level 2, turn left and over the glass bridge); classes H8 to Y are in the Main Library.

Floor plans are available at the entrance and on all levels and staff are always happy to help you find what you need.

Can't find a book where you expect to?

  • Check it's not in the Reserve or Oversize sections
  • Check iDiscover to see if it's on loan. If so, ask staff if you'd like to recall it.


University members have access to a large range and quantity of ebooks through a variety of platforms. In most cases they can be used on and off campus, giving you flexible and efficient access to content during the vacations, as well as 24/7 in full term.

The Whipple tries to ensure that ebook versions of the most popular texts for teaching and research in HPS are available. The majority are licensed for multi-user simultaneous access (if you're locked out because the limit is reached, try again later) and offer download options.

How do I find & access ebooks?

Use iDiscover in the normal way, and ebooks will appear in the results along with other resources. Use the ebooks filter if you're particularly interested in the ebook copy.

Many reading lists on Moodle include links to online resources where they're available. Please let us know if you have difficulty using these.

Can I print from an ebook?

Yes: you can print one whole chapter or up to 10% of the whole, whichever is the greater, in a single session. Don't be tempted to do more!


Reserve collection

Reference collection, REF files and oversize books

Dissertations, theses and sample work

Looking for books on a new topic

If you're starting a new project without a reading list you'll need to find some material for yourself.

  • Jot down a few words (nouns work best) that describe the topic you're interested in
  • Type these into iDiscover to see what's available. One or two words at a time works best to start with; you can use more complex phrases for narrower searches later. Best get a flavour of what's available first.
  • Use the filters in the menu bar on the right of the iDiscover screen to narrow down your search results (by publication date, resource type, etc.). The iDiscover LibGuide has lots more tips for effective searching.