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The reserve collection, periodicals, the reference collection, newspapers, as well as indexes and abstracts are located on the second floor.

Circulating books,  recreational paperbacks, atlases and the government documents collection are located on the third.

The Archives, located on the first floor of the Desmarais Library, houses the following special collections: Regional; Faculty; Mining Environment Vertical Files; Rare Books; 4th Years Honours Essay and Theses; and Archives.


E-books are a terrific new resource that the library in acquiring, largely because they may be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection.

They are located in two different places:

  • Some may be located by using the library’s catalogue. These records will have [electronic resource] in the title.
  • E-books can also be located by searching in e-book collections. Searching in these collections is the same as searching in a database.

Access to the Collections

Access to Laurentian’s library collections starts with the catalogue. Electronic collections are also available from off-campus through our proxy server. For faculty, the default log-in and password are your Gmail log-in and password. For assistance, contact Information Technology, 706-675-1151, ext. 2200.

Books within the library are accessible through the catalogue in various ways including by author, title and subject. So too are all the special collections housed in the Archives as well as government documents . If you need help finding government information in print or online,  consullt  Mr. Brent Roe, ext 4841

Periodical articles are found using online indexes and abstracts from the library’s home page from on- and off-campus. For recommended databases and other online and print resources by subject, click on the "Databases" link on the home page.

The library subscribes to nearly 50,000  periodicals in full-text electronic format. For those available only in print or in microformat, use the catalogue to see whether the J.N. Desmarais Library has the periodical title containing the article you want. Like books, periodicals In print are organized on the shelves by Library of Congress call number; periodicals in microformat are organized by title.


The archival fonds are all on or from Northern Ontario. These primary sources mostly pertain to (by alphabetical order) : Arts, culture and communications media; Clubs & social organizations;  Economy; Education; Forestry and related activities; Labour; Mining industries and related activities; Politics & Politicians; Population & socio-ethnic groups; Religious communities; and Sudbury.

Finding aids for Laurentian’s archival fonds are most easily accessed from the Archives or contact Ms. Marthe Brown, ext. 3339.


A selection of popular paperbacks is available on the third floor.  In 2011,  graphic novels were added to this collection.

DVD's and Interfilm

All DVD's formerly in the Instructional Media Centre have been moved to the 2nd floor and equipment is available on site to view such films. 

If you wish a DVD or VHS tape for class purposes, please search the Watmedia Catalogue to ensure it is available--and then email Laurentian Interfilm with the specifics of your request, including the date(s) you will need the item.  Plan ahead a couple of weeks before submitting your request. For more information, contact Ashley Thomson, ext 3322.


Topographical maps for the country and base maps for Ontario are located in the geography department.


The library has a large collection of 33 1/3 rpm (long play) recordings comprised mostly of classical music from the baroque era through to the twentieth century.

There also is a selection of jazz and popular music recordings. The loan period is one week.