Skip to Main Content

Class of 2027: HC Libraries & You

Meet Our Libraries

The front of Dinand Library at sunsetAs part of a post-World War I campus expansion, Dinand Library was originally designed by the Boston architectural firm of Maginnis & Walsh to be a defined space for study on the campus. Named in honor of Bishop Joseph N. Dinand, S.J. who served as President of Holy Cross from 1911-1918 and from 1924-1927, the library was dedicated in 1927 and renovated in 1979 when the Hiatt wings were added.  Dinand Library is located at the center of campus and is the main campus library.

View of the stacks in O'Callahan Science LibraryThe O’Callahan Science Library has over 95,000 physical volumes and increasing numbers of electronic product occupies the entire first floor of Swords Hall, the central portion of the five-building Integrated Science Complex. The Science Library subscribes to over 50 major article databases just in the science disciplines, which contain access to thousands of journals. 

The Library serves Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics & Computer Science and Physics, and the neuroscientific side of Psychology.

Student working in the Music LibraryThe Fenwick Music Library was founded in 1978 and is located in the east end of Fenwick Hall. The goal of the library is to support the music department curriculum and provide print, sound, and electronic music-related materials for the Holy Cross community.

Music scores, books, LPs, CDs, and videos are located in the Fenwick Music Library. The Music Library is equipped with all the necessary playback equipment. Music Reserve materials are circulated here as are the keys to the music department practice rooms. 

As the institutional memory of Holy Cross, the College Archives & Special Collections collect, preserve, arrange and describe records of permanent value from its founding in 1843 to the present.

The Worcester Art Museum Library, operated by College of the Holy Cross, was founded in 1909 as a non-circulating bibliographic resource dedicated to the history of art. It reflects the collection strengths of the Worcester Art Museum, located in downtown Worcester. While the library exists to serve the staff of the Museum, it also serves as the Fine Arts branch for the Holy Cross Library.

The McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture's primary public space is the two-story Rehm Library, which provides space for hospitality, Center-sponsored lectures and events, quiet space for reading and reflection, and enhanced library resources on religion and spirituality. Rehm Library is located on the third floor of Smith Hall.

Introduction to Holy Cross Libraries

Library Lingo

Library Lingo

Welcome to your academic library! As you start using library resources, you might find there are terms or concepts that are new to you. Use this list to get familiar with some common library terms, and be sure to ask a librarian if you have any questions.


archives: a collection of historical documents, records, and other materials. The Holy Cross Archives and Distinctive Collections collect, preserve, and show historical records related to the history of the College, including student and college publications, photograph collections, audiovisual materials, and more.



call number: the address for a book on a shelf.
an online record of all the books, media, and other materials owned by the library.
circulation desk: 
location in the library where you can check out items, access course reserves, or get general information about the libraries.
citation: a reference to another source used in research. Citations are used to give credit to the original source of the information and are a tool to avoid plagiarism. See our Citing Sources guide.

course reserves: 
books and other materials professors have asked the library to have available for students in their class.
the Holy Cross Libraries' search tool that searches the catalog and other electronic collections and databases.
CrossWorks: Holy Cross's digital collection of scholarly work published by members of the College community, including honors projects, faculty publications, conferences, and programs presented by academic departments. Access CrossWorks here.


database: collection of related data and information arranged for easy searching and use.
document delivery & retrieval services: a service that allows Holy Cross community members to request items within the Libraries collections to be held for pickup at the library (for print books) or scanned and delivered electronically (journal articles and book chapters).

stands for Digital Object Identifier. It is a string or letters and numbers that permanently links to an online article or document.

E - F - G


HTML: stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is the building block of webpages and is used to create online documents.


interlibrary loan: a service that allows you to request materials not owned by Holy Cross Libraries and have them borrowed from another library on your behalf.


journal: a resource that is published periodically and is devoted to a specific subject. They usually include a variety of articles from different authors and tend to be academic in focus.



lending library: a free textbook rental program supported by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Request books online and pick them up in Dinand Library. Visit the ODEI website for more information and to request a book.


monograph: a resource made up of one part or a finite number of parts, such as a book or a set of books. Different from serials, which are published continuously. 


Nevins Collection: a collection of comic books and graphic novels available from Dinand Library. Learn more.


open access: if an article or source is listed as open access, this means it is published to have free and unrestricted access for anyone who wants to view it. Open Access articles do not require a journal subscription or any sort of payment to read and use.


PDF: stands for Portable Document Format. A file format that provides an electronic version of a document that mimics the appearance of a printed document.
peer research consultant: 
student who has been trained to assist other students with research. Schedule an appointment with a peer research consultant online or visit them at the research desk during drop-in hours. Learn more.
peer review: 
a process used by scholarly journals to evaluate the quality of articles they publish.
a magazine, journal, or other publication that is published at regular intervals (annually, quarterly, monthly, or weekly).
a link to a web page that will not expire and will permanently lead back to the linked page.
personal research session: 
an individual meeting with a Holy Cross librarian to get help with your research or using library resources.
primary source (humanities, history, social sciences): in the humanities fields, a primary source 
is a first-hand witness to a historical event or period, created at that point in history. You can find detailed information about finding and using primary sources in our Primary Source Guide.
primary source / primary research article: in the sciences, 
primary research articles (also called empirical or original research) are articles where the authors of the article are the ones who conducted the study or research they are writing about. These are scholarly articles published in an academic journal that focus on one specific study conducted by the authors. 


Q-Zones: quiet zones. Areas in the library with designated noise levels: Green zones are "quiet" and allow for collaborative study. Yellow zones are "quieter" and allow occasional quiet discussion but no prolonged discussion. Red zones are "quietest" and are for silent study with no talking and no cell phone use. Find a map of Q-Zones for each library here.


reference desk: the research help desk located in each library. Visit this desk during drop-in hours to get help from a peer research consultant.
research guide: a collection of information created by a Holy Cross librarian for a specific subject or class.
research librarian: 
a Holy Cross librarian who focuses on teaching research skills and supporting student research needs.
 see course reserves.


scholarly article: an article published in an academic journal that is written by an expert in the subject for an academic audience and usually presents original research in a specific field.
serial: a resource issued in a succession of parts that continues indefinitely, such as newspapers, magazines, or journals.
stacks: the bookshelves in the library.

T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z


Adapted from: University of Toledo. (2023, May 22). First year experience.