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Veterinary Science: Books


Print books are available in different collections in the library. Different loan rules apply to each collection.

Books are kept in an open collection, a study collection and a reference collection. Theses are kept in a reference collection.

All books and Theses are classified according to the Dewey Decimal Classification System.  A location code (VET or VETN for reference books and Theses), a DDC number plus an extension (usually the author or first word of the title of the book) appear on the spine and indicate the place on the shelf. Study collection books have spine numbers, but are broadly arranged according to faculty departments/sections (e.g. Anatomy, Physiology, Companion Animal Studies – Medicine, Companion Animal Studies – Surgery, Paraclinical Sciences, Production Animal Studies, and Veterinary Tropical Diseases etc.)

The Dewey Decimal Classification System was first published in the United States by Melvil Dewey in 1876. It is a system of library classification made up of ten classes, each divided into ten divisions with each having ten sections.

The broad categories of the DDC are:

000 General Works
100 Philosophy & Psychology
200 Religion
300 Social Sciences
400 Language
500 Natural Sciences & Mathematics
600 Technology
700 The Arts
800 Literature & Rhetoric
900 Geography & History

Class 600 (Technology) includes the division 630 (Agriculture and related technologies) which includes 636 (Animal Husbandry) where most of our books are classified. The numbers 636.01 – 636.08 deal with general topics in animal husbandry. Veterinary sciences and veterinary medicine are classed in 636.089. Numbers indicating the different fields in veterinary science follow the .089 number (e.g. veterinary surgery is found in 636.0897; veterinary pharmacology in 636.0895 and veterinary anatomy in 636.0891).

These numbers, however, deal with general topics, but works on topics which are specie specific, are classed under the specific kind of domestic animal (e.g. horses are in 636.1 and dogs in 636.7). Table 2 gives a summary of the classes for the different animal species. This means that you will find a book on equine surgery at 636.10897; cattle medicine at 636.20896 and poultry nutrition at 636.5085.


Species of domestic mammals


Equines; Horses


Ruminants and Camelidae; Bovidae; Cattle


Smaller Ruminants; Sheep




Poultry; Chickens


Birds other than poultry






Other mammals


Works on non-domesticated animals can be found in 639, while non-agricultural aspects of domestic animals are classed in the 500 field.

Electronic books refer to "books that are available in digital format". The advantage of having the book accessible via the Web is that you don't have to come into the library to read it. The books may also be searched by keyword."

To access the full text to electronic books you need to be registered as a student or staff member at the University of Pretoria. You will be prompted to enter your student/personnel number and portal password.

Use the link Veterinary E-Books on the Veterinary Science library webpage. A collection of available e-books on different platforms will open.  Alternatively, hover on the Search option on the Main Library Homepage.  A list of links will open.  Choose E-Book Collections, E-Dictionaries, E-Journals or E-Reference Books

Links to download Reader Software are available on the E-Books homepage. The following can be downloaded:

Most of the e-books relevant for our clients are on the following platforms:

Science Direct

Ebook Central

Wiley Online Library

Some platforms require clients to register beforehand to be able to print, download or annotate chapters. Others like Science Direct allows clients to download content in pdf format without having to register.

A search in the WorldCat Discovery Service will enable you to find all print and e-books the library owns or have access to.

WorldCat Discovery Service helps you find everything you need with one simple search interface – physical, electronic and digital material. You can locate physical items such as print books, theses, print journals and audio-visual material in your library and discover book chapters, e-books, e-journal articles etc. with one search.

The result list not only includes material from UP libraries, but also libraries worldwide. UP library results will always display at the top though.

You can refine your search results with different filters e.g. print book or e-book or thesis/dissertation etc. to exclude journals and other material.

Searches produce direct links to e-resources or indicate the availability of a print or physical resource. To access the e-resources (View online), you will be required to log in with your University of Pretoria student or staff number & portal password.  

Important note:

When limiting your search to a specific branch library of the Department of Library Services, University of Pretoria, like Veterinary Science, only physical items will be retrieved. If you want to include all electronic material and databases in your search, only limit to “University of Pretoria”.

If your search retrieves items not located in any of the UP libraries or for which you cannot get electronic access, it can be requested through our interlending service.


For a detailed discussion on the use of WorldCat Discovery Service:

Audio-visual material can be searched on the WorldCat Discovery service by limiting to audio-visual formats.

In the Veterinary library CDs and DVDs are kept on level 4. The items are arranged numerically according to an audio-visual accession number. (e.g. VETOV 1214)

Audio-visual material that accompanies books has the same call number (e.g. VET 636.089 SMITH) as the books they accompany, but are kept with the other audio-visual material in the library.