Updated July 3, 2013.
Library catalogs provide information about the books, documents, videos, and journals that a library owns. They often link to online resources, too.
Sometimes you use a catalog to find a source you already know – you just want to find out whether this library owns it, where it is located, and if it is already checked out.
At other times, you use a catalog to find books and other materials on a topic you are researching – you want to find out what is available, in this library or in other libraries.
Catalogs for UW Libraries
The Gallagher Law Library catalog only includes material in the Law Library. All of the material held by other libraries on campus (and at the University of Washington campuses in Bothell and Tacoma) appear in the UW Libraries catalog.
Combined catalogs bring together records from many libraries. Some of these permit faculty, students, and staff of the participating institutions to directly request and borrow books from other participating libraries. For instance, a UW School of Law student who is looking for a book that is not owned by the Gallagher Law Library could search the new combined catalog and request a book that is owned by the University of Oregon Law Library. The requested book is delivered to the Gallagher Law Library where the student would pick it up.
This new combined catalog launched in late June 2013 and over the next 18 months more than 30 college and university libraries in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon will add their records.
In addition e-journals and other digital resources will also be added and the sytem will continue to develop with additional search and other options. Visit the UW Libraries New Search FAQ for more information.
If you used the previous version of the Gallagher Law Library or UW Libraries catalog, you might be familiar with the phrase WorldCat. Although the UW Libraries no longer that system, you can search a version of it through the Washington State Library.
Other Local Library Catalogs
Most other publicly accessible libraries make their catalogs freely available on the Internet, including:
- King County Law Library
- King County Library System
- Seattle Public Library
- Washington State Law Library
- Washington State Library
- Library of Congress
See the Gallagher guide on Law Libraries in Washington State and the U.S. for additional sources, including websites with links to academic, public, and other libraries and library catalogs around the country and around the world.