Home > Help > Help using our catalogue > How to search

How to search

Start by typing a word or two in the main Search box at the top of the page and hit enter or the magnifying glass symbol. 

Entering your search terms

Here are a few tips that can help you with your search.

To find:Type in:
things about dogsdogs
things about both dogs and catsdogs cats
the exact phrase global warming"global warming"
things with either or both the words Celtic or Irishceltic OR irish
things with the word Celtic but not Irishceltic NOT irish
the word globalisation or globalizationglobali?ation
the words culture, cultured, cultural, culturally etc.cultur*
call numbers beginning with 994.5994.5*

Use the drop-down box to choose a filter to limit your search – for exampleitems that are on the shelf to find yourself, only ebooks, or only pictures and photographs. 

More filters

Everything except articles – all formats listed below, except articles.
Articles – journal, magazine and newspaper articles from our subscription databases; also see our eresources.
Books etc – ebooks, pamphlets, sheet music and more. Excludes maps, pictures and manuscripts.
eBooks - Downloadable electronic books.
Journal & newspaper titles – includes online titles.
Pictures & photographs – paintings, sketches, posters and photos; many available online.
Maps – maps, charts, plans and atlases; many available online.
Manuscripts – unpublished papers, letters and diaries.
Multimedia – audio and video recordings and streamed content.
Find on shelf – items you can find on the open shelves.
Online – ejournals, ebooks, websites, streaming audio and video, digitised material.
Creation date – set start/finish dates for when an item was created or published – this doesn't work well for things published over a period of time, such as journals.
Find on shelf – items you can find on the open shelves in the Library's reading rooms.
Children's browsing collection – books for 0-12 year olds available in our Pauline Gandel Children's Quarter.

Refining your search results

Refinements can target your search by including or excluding filters – use the check boxes on the left to include, on the right to exclude, then click on Apply filters. 

The active and excluded options will appear at the top of the right hand side panel. You can choose to include or exclude refinements from your search. 


Some examples: 

  • Availabilityfor types of access – online, physical copies
  • Reading roomto limit to a particular reading room 
  • Creation dateto limit to a date range 
  • Resource type limits to books, journals, pictures, or audio and more. 
  • Choose multiple refinements in the same search - to include or to take them off click on the 'x' next to the refinement you want to remove. 
  • You can export LINK full catalogue records for your selected results to Excel. 

Searching for titles

Titles can be a bit tricky, especially if they are journal or magazine titles or common titles. 

  • For a textbook with a one-word title such as 'Accounting', add in the author, edition or publication year.  
  • For a common title that has been published in more than one place, like The Herald, add the city where it was published (for example: herald newcastle). 

Entering numbers for items

There are lots of different numbers used to describe items in libraries, from ISBNs and ISSNs to accession numbers and call numbers.

  • ISBN (a unique number assigned to a book) or ISSN (a unique number assigned to a journal or magazine)
  • Accession number (manuscript items) or an image number (Pictures items)
  • To find a call number (shelf location), use the numbers and letters after the location code. For example, for the call number S 305.52 M33N, enter 305.52 M33N. The browse search help page is useful here.

More to explore