Using Copac for your Research

Copac brings together the catalogues of over 80 major UK research libraries: national, academic, and specialist. From these catalogues we create the c.40 million records on the Copac database.  With material dating from the early middle-ages to the present day, and in hundreds of languages, you can be sure that Copac will help you find material that’s relevant to your research.

Why use Copac?

Working on a research project will often require access to more books and other material than your local library holds.  Searching Copac’s extensive database of UK library holdings allows you to locate relevant items quickly and easily.

Copac can not only help you to locate  items you have already identified, it can help you to discover items, collections, and even libraries that you might not have known about.  For instance, Copac is the only online catalogue of the holdings of the National Trust libraries, which contain many fascinating collections of rare and valuable books, including George Bernard Shaw’s working library.

Getting started searching Copac

Copac offers three search options: quick search; main search with more search options; and a map search, specifically designed to help you locate cartographic material.

You also have the choice of logging into Copac.  This allows you to save your search history, annotate records, and build up a personalised online bibliography.

Consulting material

Copac does not hold any materials. This means that once you have identified the material you want to consult, you will usually need to arrange an inter-library loan with your local library. You can do this at a local public library or your local institution library, and there may be a charge for this service.  Not all material on Copac is available for inter-library loan, especially early or rare material.  If this is the case, you will need to contact the holding institution and make arrangements to visit and consult the material.

Contact details for the institutions are linked from each record, or can be found on our Libraries page.