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Catalog Help

Information related to advanced searching in Catalog Classic and Primo

Keyword Searches

Keyword searching lets you search for words in any part of the record. It can be a powerful finding tool when you know characteristics of the information you are looking for, but not the exact author, title, or subject.

For instance:

  • You are looking for a topic, but don't know the exact subject heading

  • You are looking for a specific work and know the topic but not the exact title

  • You are looking for a specific work and know the author's last name and what it is about

  • You know the last names of two or more authors or editors of a work


Sample Keyword Searches

If you're looking for... Search type to use Search text
Words that could be in any part of the record (title, author, subject, ...) Basic Search: Keyword Anywhere

cats dogs (both cats and dogs will be in the record; same as searching "cats AND dogs")

sigmund freud dreams

Words in title, but you're not sure of the exact title Basic Search: Title Keyword

supernatural victorian

peloponnesian history

You're not sure of the exact name of the author Basic search: Author Keyword conference ieee bioinformatics

Browse Searches

Browse searching is like scanning the names in a telephone book. All of the people with the same last name are together. Browse searching is the quickest way to find what you are looking for in the following scenarios:

  • You know the exact title or the beginning of the title

  • You know at least the author's last name and first initial

  • You know an exact subject heading and want to find works on that topic

  • You know the call number of a work and want to find other works with similar numbers

Note: On the Basic search page, browse searches include "Author (last name first)" and the "... begins with" searches.


Sample Browse Searches

If you're looking for... Search type to use Search text
Works by a specific author Basic Search: Author (Last name first) Shakespeare, W (You can omit part of the first name) Twain Mark (You can omit punctuation)
A specific work where you know the title Basic Search: Title begins with... gone with the wind (You don't have to capitalize.) room with a view (Omit initial articles. Title: A room with a view)
A journal or newspaper Periodicals search, Periodical title begins with... wall street journal

Advanced Searches

The advanced search page lets you do more focused searches. You can search on several fields at once. You can also limit searches by format, language, location, year of publication, and by how recently an item was added to the catalog (last 7, 30 or 90 days).

Command Searches

Command Search (also known as Common Command Language or CCL) is the most powerful search. It lets you search several different fields at once, including coded data not searchable any other way. You must specify a command code in addition to your search words. Some of the most common command codes:

  • WRD - words anywhere

  • WTI - words in title field

  • WAU - words in author field

  • WNO - words in note field including contents notes and dissertation note

  • WPU - words in publisher field

  • WSU - words in subject field

  • WYR - year of publication

For example: ‘WNO=Notre Dame’ will search for Notre Dame in the notes field of the bibliographic record. This would include: reproduction notes, content notes, dissertation notes and others.


Sample Command Searches

If you're looking for... Search text:
DVDs of films in Russian WNO=DVD and WLN=rus
Irish language newspapers not on microfilm WTP=newspaper and WLN=gle not WSL=micro
Sound recordings of Glenn Gould performing on the harpsichord WMP=glenn gould and WRD=harpsichord


All Command Searches

WRD - Almost all fields

  • WAU - All Authors, e.g.: WAU=walter mare

  • WPE - Authors, Personal, e.g.: WPE=lope vega

  • WMC - Music Composer, e.g.: WMC=john playford

  • WMP - Music Performer, e.g.: WMP=gerd zacher

  • WCO - Non-person authors, including Corporations, Meetings, Conferences, e.g.: WCO=committee disarmament

  • WUT - Uniform titles, e.g.: WUT=rgveda and WUT=thessalonians 2nd

  • WTI - Titles, e.g.: WTI=fire ice

  • WTT - Title Page title, e.g.: WTT=moby dick AND WPE=davis

  • WSE - Series, e.g.: WSE=earth processes

  • WLK - Linking Entry, e.g.: WLK=Scottish literary journal

  • WPL - Place of publication, e.g.: WPL=koblenz AND WYR=17?

  • WPU - Publisher, e.g.: WPU=dominics

  • WYR - Year of publication, e.g.: WYR=1638

  • WMD - Time Period of Content, e.g.: WMD=x1x3 (time period codes)

  • WLN - Language, e.g.: WLN=dan (language codes)

  • WNO - All Notes, e.g.: WNO=blind tooled

  • WTH - Thesis Note, e.g.: WTH=yale 1896

  • WSU - All subjects, e.g.: WSU=planetary

  • WSP - Subjects, Personal, e.g.: WSP=melville AND WTT=moby

  • WSC - Subjects, Corporations, Conferences and Meetings, e.g.: WSC=salem athenaeum

  • WSF - Subjects, Uniform Title, e.g.: WSF=pearl middle english poem and WSF=ecclesiastes

  • WSG - Subjects, Geographic, e.g.: WSG=pitcairn and WSG=former soviet republics

  • WGN - Genre Term, e.g.: WGN=parish histories and WGN=catholic pamphlets

  • WFM - Format, e.g.: WFM=se AND WFS=m (see format codes below)

  • WFS - Secondary Format, e.g.: WFS=m AND WFM=bk (see secondary formats codes below)

  • WPD - Specific Material Designation, e.g.: WPD=vf AND WLN=rus (specific material codes)

  • WCL - Library collections, e.g.: WCL=715Q 

  • WSL - Library or Branch, e.g.: WSL=ARCHT 

  • WLC - LC Call number, e.g.: WLC=Oversize and WCL=715Q

  • WLOC - Combination of Library or Branch and collection, e.g. WLOC="MUSIC REF" (quotation marks recommended)

  • WSD - Call number, SuDocs, e.g.: WSD=HE 22.2:H 34

  • 010 - Library of Congress Control Number, e.g.: 010=95008747  (add enough zeros after the two year digits to make 6 digits following the year)

  • 020 - ISBN, e.g.: 020=3534024419? (must have question mark at end)

  • 022 - ISSN, e.g.: 022=1097-4806

  • 035 - Local system number, including OCLC/WorldCat number, e.g: 035=(OCoLC)00000123 (must have prefix and a total of 8 digits)

  • WMN - Music Publisher Number, e.g.: WMN=M051351619

  • BK - Book

  • CF - Computer files

  • MP - Maps

  • MU - Music

  • SE - Serials

  • VM - Visual materials

  • MX - Mixed materials

  • a - Printed language material

  • t - Manuscript language material

  • m - Computer file

  • e - Cartographic material

  • f - Manuscript cartographic material

  • c - Printed music

  • d - Manuscript music

  • i - Nonmusical sound recording

  • j - Musical sound recording

  • s - Serial

  • t - Manuscript language material

  • g - Projected medium

  • k - Two dimensional non-projectable graphic

  • o - Kit

  • r - Three-dimensional artifact or naturally occurring object

  • p - Mixed material

Subsets of the Catalog

The tabs across the top of the catalog screen represent subsets of the catalog. Subsets have full search functionality, restricted to a part of the catalog:

  • Full catalog - search the entire ND Libraries Catalog

  • Periodicals - search for journals, magazines, serials and newspapers

  • E-Resources - search for resources accessed online, at selected library workstations, or as physical digital media, including journals, books, databases, and government documents

  • Reserves - search for items on both print and e-reserves

  • More - search for Bible, Catholic Church, Data sets, Music and Sound recordings and more


Modify/Limit lets you refine your search results by adding additional search terms or limiting by format, language, location, year of publication and newly added materials (within 7, 30 or 90 days).

To use the Modify/Limit function, do a search, click the "Modify/Limit" link above the search results, then modify or limit your search in the form that opens.

Crossing search sets

Crossing lets you compare two searches to find records that are in one set but not the other, or that are in both sets. (Also see Boolean searching in “Tips for constructing searches”)

To cross sets, click the "Previous searches" link at the top. In the list of searches select two search sets from the same database, the appropriate operator, then click "Go." To view the results, select the new search set and click "View."

Tips for Constructing Searches

For words adjacent or phrase searching use quotation marks around phrase:

Example: "new york" OR "civil war"


The * character (asterisk) acts as a wildcard and can be placed at the left, right or middle of a portion of a word.

Example: africa* fiction (finds "Africa," "African," etc. and "fiction")

Example: colo*r (finds "color" or "colour")

Example: wom*n (finds "woman" or "women" or “womyn”)


Boolean searches let you broaden or narrow searches. You can do Boolean searching on the basic, advanced, and Command search pages. The three Boolean search operations the catalog supports:

AND A search for media AND perception will locate records containing both the word media and the word perception.
OR A search for women OR woman will locate all records containing either word.
NOT A search for media NOT television will locate records containing the word media but not the word television.

Any order: george %2 bush finds "George Bush," "George W. Bush," "Bush, George," but not "George cut down the bush."

Fixed order: george !2 bush finds "George Bush" and "George W. Bush" but not "Bush, George"

Range wyr = ( 1503 -> 1512 ) finds books published between 1503 and 1512