You are here

Locate a Specific Book

If you are looking for a specific book at the Jefferson Library, follow the steps below.

    Log on to the TJ Portal at

    Click on Guided Search.

    If you know the title of the book:

    1. type in the exact title (minus a, an, or the at the beginning), or a phrase from the title, or a single word from the title; for example:
      • notes on the state of virginia (exact title)
      • state of virginia (phrase from title)
      • notes (single word from title)
    2. click on Title at the right of the screen under Search By
    3. click Search

    If you know the author of the book:

    1. if you know the author's full name, type it in directory-style, or simply type in the last name; for example:
      • ambrose (last name only)
      • ambrose, s
      • ambrose, stephen
      • ambrose, stephen e
    2. Hint: It's best to use only the author's first initial, unless it is an extremely common surname.
    3. click on Author Browse at the right of the screen under Search By
    4. OR, if you only know part of the author's name, type in the part you know and click Author; for example:
      • ambrose
      • cherry
    5. Hint: This second method only works well if the name is not a common one.
    6. click Search

    If the search brings up the book you want

    1. check to see where it is located (Reading Room, Curatorial, etc.)
      • if it is not located where you are, contact the Research Librarian
    2. check to see whether it is available (i.e. not checked out or renewed)
      • if it is not available and you would like to place a hold or recall on it, see our guide to requesting books
    3. use the call number to locate the book on the shelf
    4. if you cannot find the book on the shelf, see the Research Librarian

    If the search does not bring up the book you want

    1. check with the Research Librarian
    2. Thomas Jefferson Foundation staff, fellows, and volunteers may request an Interlibrary Loan
    3. if you think we should own the book, fill out our Recommendation Form
    4. use WorldCat to locate a library near you that does own the item

      For more information...

      Guide to Searching the Thomas Jefferson Portal

      Guide to Requesting Books Online


      « Back to Research Guide

      « Back to Reference

      « Back to Jefferson Library Home


      Login or register to participate in our online community.