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Library Language - what does it mean?: D-G

A guide to terms, jargon and vocabulary you may encounter using the University Library services and resources



A body of information organised in such a way that it can be searched. Most databases are stored in computerized format.

Dewey decimal system
A classification system used to arrange books on our Library shelves by subject. The Dewey decimal system gives each subject a number, or classmark, and the books are shelved in number order.


An electronic or online version of a printed book.

An electronic or online version of a printed journal.

Information about a particular impression or issue of a book, e.g. whether it is a 1st edition or a 5th edition etc. Books can be issued more than once, sometimes many times over. The latest or most recent edition will usually contain revised and updated information.

Electronic journal
See: E-journal

A software package which enables you to organise you lists of references and create bibliographies.

A collective term meaning electronic books, electronic journals and databases.

Express Workstation
PC which can be used for up to 15 minutes maximum. If you wish to use a pc for longer than 15 minutes, you must go to one of the pc clusters in the Library.
See: PC Cluster.


Finding Aid
A description or list of the contents of an archive or manuscript collection. Sometimes called a handlist. The Library's archive and manuscript collections are held in Special Collections on Level 1. Finding aids and handlists are available in paper form in the Special Collections Reading Room or on the Special Collections web pages.
See also: Handlist. Archives. Manuscripts.

Used to describe a large item which is too large to fit on the ordinary shelves and can be found in the Oversize section of the Library.
See: Oversize.


Government Publications
Materials published by UK Parliament and Government departments and agencies, such as Acts of Parliament, Bills, Departmental Reports and transcripts of the proceedings in the House of Commons and House of Lords (Hansard).

Great North Museum: Hancock Library 

The Great North Museum: Hancock Library holds the the Cowen Collection. It also contains the library and archive of the Natural History Society of Northumbria and the library of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle Upon Tyne. It is located on the 2nd floor of the Museum building.