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Perform a search

Perform a basic search

  1. On the WorldCat.org homepage, enter one or more basic keywords in the search box.
    Or
    Select Search for Library Items from the Search drop-down menu and then enter one or more basic keywords in the search box.
  2. Click Search. Your results appear, sorted by relevance.
  3. Click an item title to view the Item Details screen.

Perform an advanced search

Advanced search allows you to construct more complex searches by entering keywords for multiple categories and limiting your results by format (e.g., Books), or date of publication, subject content, audience, and/or language.

You can access the advanced search from the following areas:

  • WorldCat.org homepage
    Advanced search link from the WorldCat.org homepage
  •  Search Results screen
    Advanced search link from the the Search Results screen
  • Search for Library Items screen
    Advanced search link from the Library Item screen

To perform an advanced search:

  1. Click Advanced Search from one of the locations above.
  2. Enter one or more search terms in at least one of the available fields.
  3. (Optional) Limit your search results by selecting values for one or more Limit results by fields. See Limiting an advanced search.
  4. Click Search. Your results appear, sorted by relevance.
  5. Click an item title to view the Item Details screen.

Limiting an advanced search (optional)

You can limit advanced search results by entering information in one or more of the following fields, if available:

field returns only...
Year Items published in a certain date range (whole years only)
Audience Items for the audience
Content Items with the content
Format Items in the format
Language Items in a certain language

To get more exact search results, combine search terms with limiters. For example, to find a specific journal:

  1. Enter part of a journal title in the Title field, followed by an asterisk. (*)
  2. Limit your search results by selecting Journal/ Magazine from the Format drop-down list.

Example:

this search... returns...
Title: cat* Journal titles with the phrase cat anywhere in the title, such as:
  • General academic catalogue for the Colorado School of mines
  • Gramophone classical catalogue

Search for lists

Lists are a way for you to group library-owned items you have found. Lists let you keep track of items of interest and refer back to them whenever you want to. You can create as many lists as you need, up to a total of 500 items per list.

You can search for:

  • Public lists you have created
  • Lists that have been created by other users, provided that the creator has set a list's Privacy Setting to Viewable by Anyone (Public).

For additional information about lists, see Work with lists.

To search for a list:

  1. Select Search for Lists from the Search drop-down menu.
  2. Enter in the search box any combination of:
    • A complete or partial list name
    • One or more words contained in the list's description
  3. Click Search. Lists that match your search are displayed.
  4. Select a list name to see its contents.

Search techniques for lists

Several techniques are available for searching for WorldCat lists. See Search guidelines for more information.

Invalid search techniques

Some common search techniques cannot be used to search lists:

  usage...
- movies - hitchcock (used in place of the Boolean NOT operator)

Use this instead: movies NOT hitchcock.
phrase search "boston massacre" (encloses two or more words in quotation marks to search for the exact words in the exact order)

This search produces no results.

Search for contacts

You can search for others who have created public WorldCat profiles, in order to connect with people that you know, or people you may have heard of. You can search for contacts by:

  • WorldCat username
  • Your contact's first or last name

To search for a contact:

  1. Select Search for Contacts from the Search drop-down menu.
  2. Enter a user name, a first name, or a last name in the search box.
  3. Select either the User Name or the First or Last Name radio button.
  4. Click Search. Profiles for individuals whose public profiles and user name match your search are displayed.
  5. Select a user name to see that user's profile.

Search techniques for contacts

All contact searches must use a complete single word only. Searches involving wildcards or truncations will not work. 

 Note: Search results match EXACT searches only.

use this... not this... returns results...
smith john smith

john AND smith
smith

NOT smithson
anderson anders?n anderson

NOT andersen
robert robert* robert

NOT roberts or robertson

Search for a library

You can search for a library near you. You can search for a library by:

  • Library name, or part of a name
  • Zip/postal code
  • State or province

 Note: Only libraries that have created a profile in the WorldCat Registry are listed in the library search results.

To search for a library:

  1. Select Search for a Library from the Search drop-down menu.
  2. Enter keywords in the search box. You can search by:
    • A library name or part of a name
    • Zip/postal code
    • State or province
  3. Click Search. Libraries are displayed whose name or location match your search.
  4. (Optional) You can narrow your search results by library type from the Refine Your Search list on the left-hand side of the screen.
  5. Select a library to see the library's profile page.

 

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