Searching the catalogue

You should see the different search options on the top left of the catalogue screen. Which one you choose will depend on what you want to do.

Image from the online Catalogue

Author search

This search will lead you to all the books written by a particular author. Remember to type in the author’s name with the surname first!


Title search

This is the option to choose if you know the title of the item you are looking for. If you are not sure of the exact title, then use the keyword search instead.

Author/title search

This search is useful if there are likely to be lots of books with the same title, e.g. “Introduction to psychology”, or if you are interested in only one book by an author. A combined author/title search will enable you to go straight to the title you want.

Keyword search

This is a good search to choose to find books on your topic. It searches for all the items containing the words you have typed, in much the same way as an Internet search engine does, except that a database of our library stock is searched rather than the Web. For more information about the keyword search, click “Help on keyword search” on the catalogue screen.

Subject search

This is an alternative way to find books on your topic. It can be useful if your topic is very wide, for example “Sociology”, as it is designed to retrieve everything dealing with the subject “Sociology”, rather than everything containing the word “sociology” (which might include many irrelevant items).

Numbers search

If your lecturer has given you a reading list which includes the “call numbers” of the books, i.e. the code which the library uses to organise the books on the shelves, it may be quicker to carry out a numbers search for the call number than to type in the authors or titles.