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A guide to resources relevant to Criminology at the University of Melbourne Library

Finding books

The library catalogue

To find books on a particular subject, use a keyword search on the library catalogue. For example:


Australian prisons

"social control"

Keyword searching often retrieves a large number of results. You can limit your search by using AND and adding more keywords to retrieve resources that have both words in the record. For example:

crime AND custody

prison AND social control

Use OR to broaden your search to find material related to similar keywords in the one search:

(prison OR custody) AND offenders AND rehabilitation


Refer to our search tips for details on how to search on the library catalogue effectively. These tips also work with databases.

Another way to navigate the catalogue is to use the hyperlinked subject headings in item records. Once clicked on, these headings will show you related subjects around your area and the all the books that the library has related to that subject. Refer to the images below.


Example image of subject headings in the library catalogue

"Mug", by Angus Mcdiarmid, CC BY-NC 2.0

When searching for biographies/autobiographies or personal accounts by criminals, you can search the catalogue using keyword search or search using subject headings. (Don't forget, you can search Bonus too, for books held at other libraries).

You may find that criminals' accounts or reflections on their lives may be within chapters or sections of books, rather than complete books dedicated to the person concerned.  Often the contents of books will not be listed on the catalogue records. This will necessitate going to the collection areas and browsing through the books you have identified via the catalogue. 


Some useful keywords are listed below.  You should try different combinations of keywords to find any useful catalogue records. If you have particular people you wish to find, use their names with some of the other keywords.  The asterisk (*) is a truncation device, which searches for any variants after the stem.

crime* criminal* murderer* killer* convict* felon*
robber* thief smuggler* pusher* assassin* crime boss
offender* terrorist* trafficker* gangster* image* portrayal*
memoir* biography biographies account* reflection* diar*
version view* case* case stud* perspective opinion

Some Dewey areas (DDC) to browse in the Baillieu Library.

345.03                              Offenders - ready reference works.

364.106                            Organized crime.

364.1066                          Gangsterism and gangs.

364.1092                          Biographies of criminals.

364.1523                          Murder

364.15230942                   Murder - England

364.15230973                   Murder - United States

364.152309944                 Murder - New South Wales

364.152309945                 Murder - Victoria

364.15232                        Serial murder

364.15232092                   Serial killers biography.

364.15234                        Mass murder

364.994                            Crime - Australia.

364.3                                Offenders

923.41                              Biographical works (historical) - criminals.

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