SIBL > Science and Technology Information > Acoustical Engineering

Strategies for researching advanced acoustics information at SIBL

  1. Browse Reference Books on the open shelves in the reading room
  2. Search the Catalog
  3. Find Articles in Databases

The library holds research-level books, journals and electronic databases of current acoustics research. It also has directories of companies offering services in acoustics, and directories of industry acoustics standards. Advanced research in acoustics can be technical and may require higher mathematics skills, such as knowledge of the wave equations of sound or advanced computing techniques. Ask a reference librarian at the McGraw Information Services desk on the lower level if you need help at any time; for example, in searching a particular topic or locating a journal.

1. Browse Reference Books on the open shelves in the reading room

You can take down any books from the open reference shelves located around the lower-level reading room and read them at a desk for as long as you are in the library (please simply leave them on your desk for reshelving at the end of the day). There are several useful titles in acoustics:

Encyclopedia of acoustics. Crocker, Malcolm J., editor-in-chief. New York : John Wiley, c1997.  *R-SIBL QC221.5 .E53  This isn't an "Encyclopedia" in the traditional sense (it has no alphabetical entries), but a four-volume handbook of advanced technical essays on various aspects of acoustics. Also contains introductory chapters for the general reader.

Audio engineer's reference book, Talbot-Smith, Michael editor. Focal Press, Oxford, 2001 *R-SIBL TK7881.4 .A926  Theory and practice for recording studio and broadcast engineers.

Handbook of acoustical measurements and noise control. Harris, Cyril M. editor. Woodbury, NY : Acoustical Society of America, c1998, c1991. *R-SIBL TD892 .H32 

Sound system engineering, Davis, Don.  Focal Press, Boston, c1997.
*R-SIBL TK7881.4 .D38  Theory and practice for designing sound systems for public address, domestic homes and concert halls.

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standards.Print editions of current standards are held on the open reference shelves in the reading room at SIBL. The Subject Index in Volume 1 lists specs, testing methods and practices under “acoustic, acoustical, noise”… etc *R - TA401.A653

2. Search the Catalog

Search the library’s catalog for advanced acoustics books and journals, by consulting the research materials catalog (CATNYP) at one of the terminals. Search by ‘subject’ using the following terms (Library of Congress subject listings):

Acoustical Engineering     
Noise control
Sound—Equipment and Supplies
Underwater acoustics

If you find the CATNYP record for an item you want to see, print it on the attached printer (printing is free for catalog records). Write the call number and title on one of the special paper call slips and hand it in at the Altman desk. Wait several minutes for your book or journal to be retrieved from one of the five floors of shelves located on the building’s upper levels. When you collect your item you can read it at your desk in the reading room for as long as you are in the library, or make photocopies of sections or articles that interest you. If you simply want to browse the most recent issues of a particular journal, specify on the call slip that you want ‘the most recent issue that the library has received’, or ‘all issues from the last year’, for example.

3. Find Articles in Databases

Find detailed articles and research papers on a specific topic, using one of the library’s electronic indexes/databases in the Electronic Information Center (EIC) on the lower level. Here are some examples of recent acoustic topics to give you an idea of the detailed level of search you can make in these databases:

Active sound and vibration control
Active noise control headphones
Reduction of noise inside automobiles
Reduction of noise outside automobiles
Classroom acoustics and effects on learning
Neighborhood noise: car alarms, building alarms, machinery, refuse collection

Air conditioning (HVAC)
Boat noise on recreational lakes
Construction site noise
Lawnmower noise
Local power stations
Noise in national parks
Traffic and vehicle noise
Trains and subways
Workplace noise
Underwater acoustics, effects of noise on marine life

Some databases simply provide you with a citation to an article while others give you the full text in an electronic form. The library pays for these resources.

Academic Search Premier Connect from home using your NYPL Branch Library card
General and research level database for citations and some full text of articles. Also available over the Internet from home using a library card. Indexed search terms include: noise control, acoustical engineering, noise—measurement, noise—psychological aspects, environmental law, noise control—law & legislation

Inspec (available on-site at SIBL)
Research-level indexing database of engineering, physics and materials science, Inspec is only available on SIBL premises. Gives extended abstracts of publication contents. Search topics include: acoustic noise, structural acoustics, acoustic emission, acoustic materials, noise abatement, architectural acoustics,

IEEEXplore (available on-site at SIBL)
Research-level indexing database of electrical and electronic engineering, with some access to retrieval of the full text of journal articles published since 1998. Only available at SIBL. Topics include: acoustic noise, radiated acoustic noise, acoustic noise measurement, in-car sound systems, instrumental sounds, sound movement, sound recognition, sound database, audio, acoustic waves,

Science Direct (available on-site at SIBL)
current year of Journal of Sound and Vibration available for browsing in full text

Science Online Connect from home using your NYPL Branch Library card
High school study guide: definitions, essays, diagrams and experiments, including an experiment to measure speed of sound using echoes. Available from home.

If the database offers the full text of an article, you will see a link in your list of search results. If you only get a citation to an article, consult the CATNYP research catalog to see if that journal is available at SIBL and note the journal’s call number. Request the volume or issue using a paper ‘call slip’ for retrieval from the library’s stacks. If you cannot find a journal in CATNYP ask a reference librarian at the McGraw Information Services desk. If the library does not subscribe to a journal you need, the reference librarian may be able to refer you to another New York library that does have the item.

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