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How do I narrow a keyword search in the Library Catalog?

Last Updated: Jul 13, 2015  |  89 Views

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  • Click on the "Modify Search" or the "Limit / Sort Search" button at the top of the page to narrow your search. The "Modify Search" button will retain your values while redirecting you to the Advanced Search page. The "Limit / Sort Search" button allows you to place limiters on your search without adjusting your search terms.
  • The pull down boxes to the right of the search boxes allow you to combine terms with "And", "Or", and "Not." To narrow your search, you can use any of the options listed below.
  • "AND" - Combines your terms together to perform a search. For example: "Diamonds" AND "Africa" will search for items that contain both of these terms within an item's record.
  • "AND NOT" - Searches for your first term while excluding items containing your second term.
  • "NEAR" - Used to retrieve records that contain the specified words or phrases within ten words of each other in the same indexed field. For example, "international" NEAR "conference" will retrieve items that have the word "international" appearing within ten words of the word "conference."
  • "WITHIN" - Used to retrieve records that contain the specified words or phrases within a proximity you choose. "WITHIN" is similar to "NEAR," but allows you to specify the maximum number of words that may appear between the specified words. For example, "fractal" WITHIN 3 "geometry" would find items that have the word "fractal" appearing within three words of "geometry."

You can also choose to search for your terms as phrases by using quotation marks. For example, "ship channel" will search these terms exactly as typed.

More limiters, such as location, material type, and subcollection, are available to refine your search from the Advanced Search screen.


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