USAFA Academic Library Collections

  McDermott Library

Resource Collections

The Academic Library of the USAF Academy offers a wide variety of materials and services to aid cadets and other Academy personnel doing research.   Instructional guides or finding aids., are available to assist you in your search for information.

 Text-based Online Catalog    BOOKS    

The book collection includes monographs, almanacs, dictionaries, encyclopedias, yearbooks, directories, conference proceedings, handbooks, association and society publications, fiction, and other materials in a variety of formats (see Collection Development Policy Statements). These items are shelved by the Library of Congress Classification System. Our online catalog, accessible on the web or from computer workstations on each floor of the library, serves as an index to the entire collection and may be searched by author, title, subject, or key word, etc. Location information is specified on the copy screen for each item in the online catalog. Consult the floor diagrams for more detail.

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The Library collection includes both reference and circulating CD-ROM products in a broad range of topics.  These will appear, along with books, when searching in the online catalog.  However, one has the option of  limiting one's search to retrieve only CD-ROM items by using the online catalog's "Advance Search" button.  There one enters the search term(s) in the search block(s), and, in the bottom section, selects "CD-ROM" as the ITEM TYPE from the drop-down menu. Reference CD-ROM's are available on workstations in the Reference section of the Library; some must be requested at the Reference Desk for use at these workstations.  Circulating CD-ROMs may be checked out for a period of three (3) days by bringing them to the Circulation Desk.

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 Link to Government Documents Web Resources


U.S. Government Documents are housed on the third floor in the Government Documents area. As a designated selective Federal Depository Library (since 1956), we receive approximately 38% of the publications available through the depository program. Publications not owned by the library may be borrowed from other depository libraries through our Interlibrary Loan Office.

The Government Documents Collection has its own unique classification system and items are shelved by Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) number. Government books, CD-ROMs, periodicals, microfiche, pamphlets, maps, and posters as well as treaties, public laws, and congressional hearings are organized and shelved according to the issuing agency or committee.

The library has various indexes in print, CD-ROM, and/or other electronic formats, which help identify a government document's SuDocs number. Documents received since 1990 are included in the library's online catalog.

Reference service for the depository library collection is always available to the faculty, staff, and cadets of the Air Force Academy, in the Government Documents Office or from the Reference Desk and via telephone or e-mail.  Reference service is also always available to the general public via telephone or e-mail.  For physical access, please contact the Government Documents Librarian.   

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The Academy Library receives reports done as a result of research from many organizations (including NASA, RAND , DTIC, etc.) in many subject fields. These are located north of the Government Documents collection on the third floor. Most of these reports are in microfiche format in the Microform Area. Various indexes in the area and on the Internet lead you by subject, author, or keyword to the report number. Most of the report literature items are not in the online catalog. Reference service for the Report Literature collection is always available, either in the Government Documents Office or from the Reference Desk. 

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Periodicals are a basic source of information and include magazines, newspapers, and journals. Magazines are general or popular periodicals. Journals are scholarly periodicals, which might contain articles on literary criticism, political analysis, scientific research or other specialized material. In science, for example, journals provide the most up-to-date information you can find and will be your primary source materials, written by scholars or subject specialists

Periodicals are indexed in a number of electronic and printed indexes and abstracting services, most of which are on the third floor of the library. Periodical holdings are listed in the Library's Online Catalog and may be searched by "Serials Title." If you need assistance, please inquire at the Reference Desk.

Many electronic databases, online or CD-ROM, may be used to search the periodical literature as well or better than the printed indexes. Electronic resources usually require a fraction of the time to search, and have enhanced access points, and search more than one year at a time. Results can often be printed or downloaded to a floppy disk. Some of our printed journals are also available in electronic versions via the Internet at no additional charge; URLs for these will be listed in our online catalog, but may not be viewable by off-base patrons.   Links to other electronic periodicals are also noted under various Web Resources topics (only available to USAFA personnel via Intraweb).   

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Newspapers are often looked upon only as a report of current events. They also provide an historic record when consulted years after the event. Most newspapers have book reviews, biographies (sometimes in the form of obituaries), stock market reports, feature articles, and other types of information in addition to news articles. Current issues of printed newspapers are on the third floor, southwest corner. Of these, selected newspapers kept on microfilm are in the Microform Area west of the spiral staircase on the third floor.

Printed newspaper indexes are also in the Microform Area. These include indexes to the New York Times, Times (London), Wall Street Journal, Denver Post, and Christian Science Monitor.

Selected national and international news sources are also available on the Internet (only available to USAFA personnel via Intraweb). 

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Phonograph Records, CDs, and listening stations have been moved from the northeast corner of the fifth floor as that area has been reassigned to staff working for the Superintendent.   Records have been placed in Storage and will inaccessible until renovation of Harmon Hall is completed; CDs have been relocated to the 3rd floor.  These collections primarily support music, history, and English classes. Holdings include foreign language recordings, dramatic readings, documentaries, speeches, sound effects, sound tracks, and classical music. All recordings may be found in the Library's Online Catalog and those still accessible may be used in the Music Listening Booths on the 5th floor, in CD players at the bottom of the spiral staircase or checked out for use with personal stereo equipment. 

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The Clark Special Collections Branch, room 6A52 (named for Lt. Gen. A. P. Clark), serves the traditional function of a college and university archives, operating as the repository for microfilm of historical documentation which reflects the origin and development of plans and programs at the Air Force Academy. The Manuscript Section of the Branch contains a significant body of personal papers proffered to the Academy by general officers and civilians who were instrumental in the development and implementation of air power or who were prominent in the establishment or promotion of the Academy. The Branch also houses the Academy Oral History Collections, the Stalag Luft 3 archives, photographs of the Wright brothers' experiments (brochure page 1, 2), the Falconry collection of books and periodicals, rare books and Academy related publications.

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The Stalag Luft III web site brings together the efforts of many organizations and individuals with an interest in preserving the remarkable experiences of those who faced combat in the skies of Europe during World War II and who suffered incarceration in Germany's World War II prisoner of war camps. The materials in this site reside in the U.S. Air Force Academy Library's Special Collections and are on occasional display in the Academy's Cadet Library.

The Special Collections Branch is open 0730-1630 Monday through Friday.

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The Colonel Richard Gimbel Aeronautical History Collection is housed in a specially equipped room on the sixth floor of the Academy Library. The Gimbel Collection comprises an amazing array of items pertaining to the history of flight. Five thousand year-old seals carved from semi-precious stones document man's earliest dreams of flight. Included within the collections are over 5,000 books dating from the 15th century, letters and manuscripts pertaining to aeronautical events, artwork, commemorative medals, periodical literature and over 3,000 prints which reflect man's dream of flight.

The collection is open from 0730-l630 Monday through Friday. Additional information can be found in our digital archive.

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This page last updated 13 February 2014

U.S. Air Force Academy, USAFA, CO 80840, (719) 333-1110 DSN: 333-1110, 11 Dec 16
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