How to Search for Serials, Journals, Newspapers, Magazines

Searching for serials at Columbia University Libraries can be complicated. Multiple libraries on campus may receive a particular title, different libraries may have different years, and the needed volumes may be in various formats.

At PMRR, finding a specific volume can be a multi-step process. Current Issues are shelved alphabetically by title in 401 Butler Library. Previous issues may be bound and shelved in the Butler stacks or they may be on microfilm or microfiche.

Staff members are available to assist with any questions or problems.

How to Find a Serial

If you do not have a specific citation, try Databases (Reference Works & Indexes) for articles of interest. JSTOR and Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe are often helpful tools for finding citations to articles.  For assistance finding articles, consult a reference librarian.

Note: Finding a citation does not automatically mean that the Libraries subscribe to the journal.

Once you have a specific citation, search CLIO for the title of the journal.

Note: There may be multiple entries for a particular serial. If you cannot find the journal, see below.

Select your entry (the screen may list multiple locations and provide call numbers).

View the holdings for a particular location. Look for the dates/issues of the title that are at that library.  If PMRR does not have the years and volumes you need, check holdings for other campus locations.

Note: Dashes indicate there are no gaps in the holdings (e.g. 1950 - 2000).  Commas indicate gaps in holdings (e.g. 1912 - June 1915, Sept. 1915 - 1925).

If the year and volume needed is available in the Microforms Reading Room, check the Self-Service Microform List to see if the call number can be accessed without paging the material. All other titles and call numbers should be requested at the PMRR service desk.

Can't find it? Don't despair, you have options!

  • Ask a desk attendant at the PMRR Service Desk, call us at 212-854-4704, or email us.
  • Seek the assistance of a reference librarian.
  • If Columbia does not own the journal or specific issue you want and are a Columbia University student, faculty, or staff member, Interlibrary Loan may be able to get the materials for you.