Created by Michael Muchow, Humanities Subject Librarian
Published on October 28, 2013
The MERLIN Catalog gives you access to the resources of the MU Libraries and UM System Libraries. MERLIN is the collection of the four University of Missouri system libraries (MU, UMKC, UMSL and MST). MERLIN is part of MOBIUS, which is all of the research libraries in the state of Missouri. Using MERLIN, you can search for books, media, articles, dissertations, maps and many other items and find both print and online materials available through these libraries.
1. There are two easy ways to get to the catalog. You can click the “Classic Catalog (MERLIN)” link under Quick Links and start a new search in the catalog. You can also click on the Books & Media tab of the middle search box that will allow you to search MU or all of the UM and MOBIUS systems for items limited by keyword, title, author, or format.
2. On the Quick Search screen, the middle of page shows several search options. Quick Search allows you to do a keyword search, or find a title, joural, magazine, or newspaper that begins with the phrase you use. Next to the Quick Search tab at the top is the Advanced tab, which lets you do keywords in specific fields and tie them together with Boolean operators, as well as use filters and limits. The last helpful type of search for students is a Subject search. You can look up items by Library of Congress subject headings, medical subjects or genre form terms.
When you run searches you’ll retrieve a results page. MERLIN retrieves results in a way that may be confusing for new users. If you search by title, the search results will be a list of book titles. If you search for an author, MERLIN will display a list of authors with that name. If you search by subject, MERLIN will show a list of subject terms.
3. When you’ve searched a title, the list will show book titles that have the term searched in them. Clicking a title navigates to the individual record page for the item. From here, you can find the call number of an item to find it in the library, or you can access the item online. In any results page, you can always broaden your search to look in all the UM system libraries or extend the search to MOBIUS libraries. For more information on how to search in the UM libraries or MOBIUS libraries, check out our tutorials.
4. When searching for an author, MERLIN will retrieve a list of authors with the same name. If you click on an author’s name, you will navigate to a list of books written by that author. From here, the titles link to individual item records. The other search that brings results is a Subject search. Searching a term brings up a list of subject headings. To the right of the results is the number of items that have that subject assigned.
5. Individual record pages show the author(s), title, call number and location or the link to online access, subjects, related items and other helpful information. If a book is located in a library, the text under the title shows the name of the library that has the item, sometimes along with more specific codes. Ones that you may commonly see are Reference, meaning the book is a reference book. If a book says Special Collections or Government Documents, it means those items are in the Special Collections office or the Government Documents area of the library.
6. After the library is the call number and status. If a book is available, it will say “Not checked out.” If a book is checked out, the due date will be displayed. Lib use only means it stays in the library and cannot be checked out, but you can go to the library and read it there.
7. If a book is located in Ellis, clicking the “MU Ellis” link will take you to a book location guide. To know what stack to go to, find the call number letters between the correct areas in the guide. The book is located in that area.
8. Each record has two tabs. The second tab lets you find similar items to the record. On the page you will see clickable links for the author, title, and subject. If you click on the author, you’ll find more of their work. If you click on a subject you’ll retrieve a list of items with that subject assigned to them.
9. For help on finding the book when you’re in the stacks, clicking on the call number brings up “Nearby on Shelf,” which is a call number browse. The book’s title is organized with the books that are around it as though you are looking at the book as it appears on the library’s shelf.
If you have questions about navigating the MERLIN catalog, or you would like any other research help, contact the Reference Desk at Ellis Library.