Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Language and Literature Resources in the General Research Division: Finding Books - Catalog

How to Access our Collections


A Library card will provide you with access to our collections and our remote digital resources. NYC residents or visitors to NYC (domestic or international), can apply online here. Please note, a photo ID and proof of address is needed to validate your card when you visit. Further information on Library cards can be found here

Library Catalog

Research Catalog 

Explore millions of items from The New York Public Library's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The Research Catalog also provides researchers with access to offsite storage items from NYPL, Columbia University, Princeton University and Harvard University. Items will be delivered to The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building in 1-2 business  days.

Getting Started 

You may browse a full list of commonly used language and literature Subject Headings on this page. The Subject Heading Index Explorer provides additional ways to navigate through the Library's collection. Searches can also be achieved by author, title and standard numbers (call numbers).

Before Your Visit 

General collections are available to view without an appointment. However, we encourage patrons to request materials in advance of their visit to ensure availability.

Scan and Deliver

Electronic Document Delivery - Scans 

When you can't visit the Library, but need a small portion of a title, The New York Public Library offers cardholders remote access to portions of its vast research collections including selections of books and articles from scholarly journals via Scan & Deliver, our electronic document delivery service. This service is accessible via the Research Catalog

Consultations with a Librarian


Meet Virtually with a Librarian (Consultation) 

Researchers of all levels are welcome to schedule an online consultation with our librarians. Consultations include: catalog navigation, demonstration of online services and database (articles, abstracts etc...), as well as exploration of sources for a specific topic. To schedule a consultation, please click on the link above or email us at: A Librarian will review your query and get back to you as soon as possible.

Find Material Outside of NYPL

Find Material Outside of NYPL 

WorldCat -- Search for material held in libraries around the world. 

Interlibrary Services and Document Delivery (ILL) Interlibrary Services provides access to materials held at libraries outside the NYPL system. To begin using ILL, please create an online account here

Browse the Library Shelves in The Rose Main Reading Room

The Rose Main Reading Room literature collection houses thousands of reference works on open shelf related to general literature. All items in the Rose Main Reading Room begin with the classmark “*R-RMRR”. For example: “*R-RMRR PN”.

Language and Literature Classmarks

  • P - Philology Linguistics
  • PA - Classical Languages and Literature (Greek and Latin)
  • PB- Modern Languages. Celtic Languages and Literature 
  • PC- Romantic Language 
  • PD- Germanic Languages. Scandinavian Languages
  • PE- English Language 
  • PF- West Germanic Languages. Dutch, Flemish
  • PG- Slavic Languages and Literature. Baltic Languages and Literature. Albanian
  • PH- Uralic Languages. Basque Language 
  • PJ- Oriental Languages and Literatures 
  • PK- Indo- Iranian Languages and Literatures 
  • PL- East Asian, African, and Oceania Languages and Literatures 
  • PM- American Indian Languages
  • PN- Literary History and Collections 
  • PQ- Romance Literatures 
  • PR- English Literature 
  • PS- American Literature 
  • PT- Germanic Literatures

Map of North Hall