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Reference Books: Print & Online

Finding Information from a Reference

Reference materials are compilations; a "reference" connects a researcher to background information in a way that is intended to be found quickly when needed. Reference materials can be dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, handbooks and guides, catalogs, atlases and maps, directories, almanacs – even the internet.

Using OU Libraries' Catalog

Although the library guide you currently read is considered a reference material, the following lists are not comprehensive. Check the OU Libraries Discover catalog to connect to even more resources. Think about the keywords you would use to search the catalog; for general books containing definitions of terms or overviews of a subject, search for your keywords plus "encyclopedia" or "dictionary." Want reference assistance? Reach out to the STEM Services team at

Looking for a reference on citation style? Visit the Citations page of the guide.

Finding Books in the Library by Call Number

Books are located in Bizzell Memorial Library in the following call number locations.

Library of Congress Call Numbers for Mathematics:

Call Number Range Topic
QA 1-939 Mathematics
QA 1-43 General
QA 47-59 Tables
QA 71-90 Instruments and machines
QA 75-76.95 Calculating machines
QA 75.5-76.95 Computer Science
QA76.75-76.765 Computer Software
QA 101-145 Elementary mathematics, Arithmetic
QA 150-272.5 Algebra
QA 273-280 Probabilities, Mathematical statistics
QA 299.6-433 Analysis
QA 440-699 Geometry. Trigonometry. Topology
QA 801-939 Analytic mechanics
QC 19.2-20.85 Mathematical Physics

What's new about the catalog? See if the library has a copy of your class's textbook! 

Textbooks on Reserve and course reserve materials are now searchable by course code (ex. HIST 3403), course name (ex. Modern Israel), title (ex. Quiet Street), or author. Some materials are searchable by professor last name (ex. Seidelman). Students can search the catalog or the new Textbook Search Scope (located under the Search Scope drop-down menu).

Screenshot of OU Libraries catalog website, "Search Scope" dropdown menu showing textbooks




Online Historical Mathematics Collections


Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

Selected Works


State of the Field

Early Modern Era

Frequently Used Textbooks