The Reference Reading Room occupies the northeast corner of the Scholars' Commons on the first floor of the East Tower of the Wells Library. It is an area for quiet study overlooking Tenth Street and North Jordan Avenue, containing a collection of print resources available to all library patrons.


reference books


Current Periodicals

The room is home to our current periodicals, unbound issues of journals, magazines and some newspapers. Until bound, the titles are arranged alphabetically. Once bound they will shelve in call number order in the stacks or reside in the Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF) as indicated in our online catalog, IUCAT.

The Loeb Classical Library

By tradition the Reference Room has always kept a complete set of the Loeb Classical Library collection to assure that at least one copy of the Greek and Latin classics was always available in the library. The titles, periodically revised or issued as new editions, contain Greek and Latin texts with facing English translations.

Indiana University

A section of shelving holds a selection of Indiana University publications, primarily the Arbutus and histories of the University. For aditional material patrons may consult the University Archives on the fourth floor of Wells.


Most atlases in the Reference Room shelve in a small group of atlas cases. A few, some more specialized, shelve by call number within the general reference collection. For additional material you may consult IUCAT or Government Information Maps and Microform Services (GIMMS).

Government Indexes

At the west end of the Reference Room stacks, not in Library of Congress call number order, are indexes to the Congressional record, archival registers and finding aids to government official publications and record groups in the National Archives. For additional material you may consult IUCAT or Government Information Maps and Microform Services (GIMMS).

The General Reference Collection

Reference works in the Reading Room, printed volumes arranged in Library of Congress order, cover disciplines ranging from anthropology to women's studies in a variety of languages. Although there are basic resources for many subjects in the Reading Room, other more specialized campus libraries will have materials unique to their services and their patrons' needs. Among the types of printed matter available in the Reading room are language dictionaries, general, and special encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries, indexes, lexicons, books of quotations, indexes, citation manuals, directories, statistical compilations, synopses, sports record books, and studies of literary themes, authors and eras. You can find, for example: The eugenics movement : an encyclopedia, The Palgrave encyclopedia of world economic history since 1750, Grand dictionnaire encyclop├ędique Larousse, Day by day: the thirties, Dictionary of sociology, Dorland's illustrated medical dictionary, The Yale book of quotations

The Virtual Reference Room

The Scholars' Commons offers a collection of electronic online reference resources for IUB in the The Virtual Reference Room