Finding books

The Warburg Library's classification system is unique and is intended to help browsing readers find new and unfamiliar material.

As you enter each floor, there is a large panel listing all the subjects on that floor. There are also subject lists at the end of each set of shelves to aid browsing.

If you are looking for a specific title, the quickest way to find a book is to search our online catalogue and note the classmark of the book you wish to find.

Check the library plan. The first letter of the classmark indicates the floor on which the book is to be found.

During the Warburg Renaissance refurbishment project (April 2022-December 2023), books may be moved to make way for building work. The updated plans will be displayed in the Institute, or check our building works updates page.

Location lists

At the entrance to each floor there are classmark location lists for that floor; one list for standard-sized books and a separate list for Large Size books.

Each bay of shelves is numbered. The location lists show the bay number(s) for each classmark. Locate the relevant bay(s) to find your book.

Marker cards

Please fill out a marker card for each book you take off the shelf. This helps us to keep track of where the books are.

You will find marker cards next to desks and windows. Take a spare one and fill in the information about the book, your name and the floor you are working on.

Place the marker card on the shelf where the book was.

Once you have finished with your books, leave them on the re-shelving trolleys on any floor, or next to the enquiries desk in the Reading Room.

Reserving books

The Library is reference-only and books may not be borrowed or removed from the building, but you can reserve up to ten books in the Reading Room for seven days. Any books left on desks at the end of the day will be re-shelved.

To reserve books, take a slip of paper from the Reading Room desk and write your surname and today's date on the top. Put a slip inside each book.

Place the books on the Reading Room reserve shelves under the first letter of your surname. You can pick them up again whenever you like.

If you reserve more than ten books, all will be re-shelved. 

Each time you use a book you can update the date on the slip, allowing you to reserve it for as long as you need it. If the date has not been changed for seven days, the book will be reshelved.