Classic Catalog - Keyword Search

A keyword search searches through titles, subject headings, corporate authors, conference names, series titles, and content notes. Keyword searching is very helpful when exact title or author information is not knows. This type of searching is also useful for finding subject information when the exact Library of Congress Subject Heading is not known

  • From the advanced keyword search screen, you can limit your search in several different ways:
    • You can limit your search by language. This is especially helpful if you are looking for non-English publications, movies or sound recordings.
    • You can limit your search by material type. For more on the various material types, click here.
    • You can limit your search by location. Click here for specific information on locations.
    • You can limit your search by publisher.
    • You can also limit your search for a specific date or a specific date range. The date corresponds to the date that the item itself was published.
  • You can also choose how you want your information sorted. The catalog will display your results chronologically, alphabetically or by relevance.
  • Adjacency
    • It is important to note that multiple words entered together without any operators are searched as a phrase. A search for criminal justice will retrieve records with the phrase "criminal justice," not records that have both the words criminal and justice in them.
  • Proximity
    • You can use the word "near" in order to specify that your search terms are close together.
    • It is also possible to use "within [number]" to specify terms which occur within a certain number of words of each other. For example, america within 3 econom* would retrieve all records where the keyword america and all keyword varieties of econom* appear within 3 words of each other.
  • Truncation
    • To find all variations of a word, use an asterisk (*) after to word or part of a word. For example type in crim* to find all entries with the words crime, crimes, criminal or criminals.
  • Boolean Operators
    • The boolean operators - AND, OR, and NOT - can be used to refine your searches.
      • AND - Use AND to search for two separate keywords. As an example to search for all items with the keywords juvenile and criminal, type in juvenile AND criminal.
      • OR - Use OR to search for items that contain either one or another word. To search for all items with the keywords juvenile or youth, type in juvenile OR youth.
      • NOT - Use NOT to search for items that contain one word but not another. Type in juvenile NOT male, to search for all items that contain the word juvenile, but not the word male.
    • You can use parentheses to nest words and create complex searches. Type in (alaska or canada) and (adventure not vacation), to retrieve all items about adventures in Alaska or Canada that excludes all references to vacation.
    • Keep in mind that you can also use these complex searches with asterisks - (annotated bibliography) and child*. This search will retrieve all annotated bibliograhies with the words child and children in their records.
  • Fields
    • You can specify certain fields to search using field abbreviations. Available fields for the library's catalog are
      • Author - The syntax is (a:"search string"). To use this search, type in (a:franklin). You can combine this and search for (a:franklin) and (a:benjamin).
      • Title - The syntax is (t:"search string"). To use this search, type in (t: for whom the bell tolls). You can use as much for as little of the title as you know. Remember that this is a keyword search, if you do this search in the catalog, you may get some unexpected results.
      • Subject - The syntax is (s:"search string"). Type in (s:civil war), to get all items with keywords civil and war within the subject fields of the records.
      • Note - The syntax is (n:"search string"). This search can be used to search the note fields of records. Type in (n:juvenile), to search for all records that have the word juvenile in their contents notes.