NOIRLab Tucson Headquarters Library - Collections

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The Tucson Headquarters Library has an extensive collection of books, journals, observatory publications, and historical materials, which go back decades. We purchase, organize, preserve, and provide access to our collections in support of the research needs of all NOIRLab staff. Our resources include digital resources and physical copies.

The main focus in our collections is astronomy, but we also have collections of mathematics, physics, and engineering materials. The Library acquires materials at a research level, including monographs, periodicals, conference proceedings, and reference works without regard to place of publication, date of publication, or chronological period. Materials are primarily in English for the Tucson Headquarters Library. In general, we do not collect professional handbooks or textbooks. We do not collect popular works, with the exception of materials dealing with the history of astronomy and with diversity issues. 

Books and journals are purchased in accordance with our guidelines upon demand by staff. 

The Library is open 24 hours/day. For access to archival materials, please contact the Librarian. 


Library Serial Holdings

Online Library Catalog - Sign in as NOIRLab for Library Name; no password required


Physical Collections

Call Numbers and Subjects

Materials in the Tucson Headquarters Library are arranged according to the Library of Congress classification scheme, which uses a combination of letters and numbers. Here are some guides to the LC classification system:


Main Floor of Tucson Headquarters Library

Tucson Headquarters Library Map - Main Floor


Basement Floor of Tucson Headquarters Library

Tucson Headquarters Library Map - Basement Floor

  • Astronomy (QB) Books and Journals
  • Reference Materials
  • Writing Center (dictionaries, thesauri, writing books, style manuals) - main floor near tables
  • Organizational History
  • Tohono O'odham History
  • Organzational Publications (AURA Engineering Reports; KPNO Contributions (listing of Contributions with links to ADS records); KPNO R&D Technical Memoranda; NOAO and NOIRLab Newsletters)


  • Books and Journals
    • Education (L)
    • Geography (G)
    • History (E and F)
    • Mathematics (QA)
    • Optics (QC)
    • Physics (QC)
    • Psychology (BF)
    • Science, general (Q)
    • Statistics (HA)
    • Technology and Engineering (T)
  • Historical  Collection
    We have a collection of historical materials, which are kept in a restricted area of the library. Please see Sharon for access. 
  • KPNO Instruments 
    We have several small KPNO instruments on display in our library. They are listed in the NOIRLab library catalog (sign in as NOIRLab for library name; no password required; search Collection -> Instruments). Photographs and descriptions of these instruments are available.
  • Digital Archives 
    Digital materials are listed in the NOIRLab library catalog (sign in as NOIRLab for library name; no password required; search Collection -> NOIRLab Tucson Library Digital Archives)
  • Observatory Publications
    Publications from observatories throughout the world have QB4 call numbers. Some of these publications are located in the astronomy section on the main floor; others are in a separate restricted area. See Sharon for access.
    Finding Aid - Observatory Publications

Updated on July 8, 2024, 2:02 pm