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Ocean and Earth Science: Books

Subject guide for oceanography and earth science.

Key Locations

The National Oceanographic Library uses an in-house classification scheme for most of the collections with the exception of the Reference Collection and a small section of non-academic books which are arranged on shelves using the Library of Congress classification scheme.

Floor plans

Books are on the main level of the National Oceanographic Library (level 4). 

Most of the printed journals are on either level 4 (journal titles from A to N) or the lower floor [level 2] (journal titles from N to Z). A small number of journals are held in the NOL archives. If you need assistance finding materials please speak to library staff at the Help Desk who will be pleased to help you.

Call Numbers Explained

When you enter the details of the item that you want on the catalogue it will display a call number or code that tells you where the item is shelved.

The call number will usually look something like these examples:

REF TK 2380.45 GAR 

B OCEAN (Physical) Kna 

CC BIO (Ecol & Behav) Smi

Although the codes look different, they work in much the same way: the combinations of letters and numbers gives a location based on the subject content of the item. The three letters at the end of each number are the first three letters of the author’s family name. Call numbers help us to group items on similar subjects together. The signs at the end of the shelves in the library explain where to find each call number. 

The library floor plan will show you where items with particular call numbers are stored.


How Can I Find Books On My Topic?

Use WebCat the library catalogue to find books


Book Suggestion Form

Use this online form to suggest a book we should buy for the National Oceanographic Library.

Theses and Dissertations

PhD/ MPhil theses

  • the library holds print copies of all University of Southampton doctoral level theses; these are listed on WebCat
  • many of these are now also available online from ePrints Soton

Undergraduate/ taught masters dissertations

  • a limited number of these are held in the library
  • for most subject areas students should ask at their Faculty Office for access
  • there are more details about finding theses available

Ocean and Earth Science Undergraduate / taught masters dissertions

The National Oceanographic Library houses the Ocean and Earth Science collection of undergraduate and taught masters dissertations. The dissertations written in the most recent few years are shelved in the library at the end of the books sequence. All of the dissertations are listed in WebCat

Top eBooks

Accessing Resources From Off-Campus

It's not always straightforward to access e-resources when you're away from campus. Our Accessing Resources guide will give you the information you need to access our subscription content - including details of the SVE service (Southampton Virtual Environment) which is invaluable in ensuring the best possible access from home.

Videos on how to find and borrow books

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