Finding Sources: Searching the Catalog

What is the Library catalog?


The Library catalog contains records for the physical (print) books, journals, government documents, microforms, audiobooks, and DVDs on the shelves of the Library. It also includes records for e-books and for the electronic versions of journals and government documents.

Questions and Answers about the Catalog

What's the difference between the USMA Library Catalog and Scout?

The Library catalog searches for the physical things on our shelves (books, DVDs, journals, government documents, audiobooks, etc.), and for e-books and other electronic sources to which we subscribe. Scout searches for a wider variety of resources, many of them electronic: books, e-books, scholarly articles, newspaper articles, video clips, and even more.

Why use the catalog instead of Scout?

If you know a specific book title, or an author's name, it is usually more efficient to search for that using the catalog - since you'll be searching within a smaller set of resources. Scout is good to use when you don't know much about your topic, since it searches for a great deal of information - it looks for LOTS of resources. But if you know you want a print book about your topic, use the catalog, where your search "pool" is smaller and more specific.

Can I find articles using the catalog?

No - you will find the names of the scholarly journals to which we subscribe, but you won't be able to find articles in the catalog. If you need to find articles in scholarly journals, Scout or one of our specialty databases is your best bet.