Butler University Libraries' Catalog Help


More on Basic Search

Optional Limits

Truncation and Boolean

Browse Search

Previous Searches

List of Items

Full Description

Requests & My Library Card

Detailed Search Information


The 'ALL KEYWORDS' search looks for words that might appear anywhere in the catalog's description of the item.

You should use this type of search if:
- You have only a very general idea of a topic
- You know only a portion of an author or composer's last name
- You know a few words of a title of a specific book/CD/video

The 'ALL KEYWORDS' search might retrieve more results than you need, and it might also retrieve results that are not relevant to your topic/author/title. However, it is a good place to start if you don't have the exact information on what you are looking for.

How do I use BASIC SEARCH? (Option #1)

- Simply type your keywords in the box labeled 'Enter word or phrase:' and click on the SEARCH button.
- Put quotes around your words to search as a phrase (for example: "things fall apart").
- The catalog automatically puts an 'and' between all words you enter.

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You will notice that, in the box labeled SELECT FIELD TO SEARCH, you can pull down a list of other search options from a menu. The most popular of these are listed and described below:

Title Keywords - words that appear in any part of the title of an item (in any order)
For example: tolls and bell and whom

Title starts with [omit initial article] - the exact words that appear in the title part of an item (in order)
For example: for whom the bell

Author Keywords - word or words that appear in the author part of an item (in any order)
For example: hemingway

Exact Author [last name, first name] - the exact last name of the author, followed by the first
For example: hemingway, ernest

Subject Keywords - word or words that appear in the subject of an item
For example: women and literature and history

There are other options on the BASIC SEARCH pull-down menu. For help with these and ADVANCED SEARCH features, please Ask for Help.

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Before proceeding with your search, you might choose to limit your search in any number of ways.

By Location - The default will search all libraries; use the pull down menu to limit your search to the Science Library or to the Irwin Library; you can also select Electronic Library if you are only interested in e-books.

By Collection - Choose from the pull down menu to limit your search to Periodicals, Reference materials, the Browsing Collection, and more.

By Format - Limit your search to Scores, Videos & DVD's, Sound Recordings, Books, etc.

By Language - Use the pull down menu to limit your search to items in French, German, Spanish or others.

By Date - Type a four-digit year (for example: 2011) to limit to a specific year, or use the '?' symbol at the end to limit to a particular decade or century (for example 199? will retrieve items published in the 1990s and 18?? will retrieve items from 1800-1899).

You can use multiple limits on the same search. By using several of the limits together, you can make your search more specific - you can search for scores in German, published in the 1990s.

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? - the '?' symbol, used at the beginning, end, or in the middle of any word will retrieve variant spellings of that word (for example: gun? will retrieve gun, guns, gunners, gunnery, gunning, etc. Similarly , ?topia will retrieve dystopia and utopia, and wom?n will retrieve women and woman).


The default search assumes the word AND between words. You can use the Boolean operators AND, OR & NOT to broaden out or narrow your searches.

For more detailed information about all possible ways to search and utilize the catalog, read below:

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The Browse Search enables you to scroll through an alphabetical index. Some of the indexes available are Subject, Author, Title, and other numeric lists.

Choose the index you'd like to browse, and enter the text from which you'd like to start browsing. This text will appear at the top of a scrollable list. For example, entering 'A' will give you an alphabetical list starting at 'A'. Entering 'great' will give you an alphabetical list starting from 'great'. You will then be able to scroll down to entries such as Great Britain and Great Danes.

The Browse List displays an alphabetical list of entries, shows the number of items for each entry and indicates whether or not there are cross-references for the entry. Click on an underlined entry to see the associated items for an entry. If you find an indented 'See :' link, you should use that phrase to search for the Subject or Author.

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SEARCH HISTORY (blue button on menu bar)

This function shows a list of sets from past searches and lets you:

  • Select a search and view the list of items in that result set.
  • Narrow or widen your search by crossing sets.
  • Delete sets from the list.

In addition, you may choose to return to the last browse list of headings (titles, authors, subjects, etc.) referenced.

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A List of Items is displayed as a result of a Basic or Advanced Search, or from a Browse List by clicking on an underlined entry. You can also choose a previous List of Items by clicking on the Search History button. Various actions may be performed on a List of Items, such as sorting and adding items to your e-shelf.

If your List of Items includes more than 600, you cannot sort the list by any of the available options.

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In the Full Description, you can see more information about the item. You can get to the Full Description by clicking on the item's title in a results list.

The Full Description has links that allow you to jump to:
- A Browse List of items that share the same Subject (or Author, or Title)
- Call Number or Holdings information, including Availability
- External files, such as an electronic journal

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You can only request items that are currently checked out. You can either log into the catalog first (with the 'My Library Card' option) or log in once you have found an item you want, by clicking on the 'Request' link under the Action column from the Detailed Holdings page.


You can log in to the Catalog with your Campus ID (including the last two digits) as your username and your regular Network Username as your password.

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The Search function will retrieve a maximum of 2000 records per set. If your search request finds more than 2000 records, you will be requested to rephrase your search term.

The ? character may be placed at the left, right, or middle of a portion of a word, but it can never be used more than once in a text string.

The # symbol can be used to find variant spellings in cases where one version of the word has one more character than another version. For example, colo#r will find both colour and color ; and arch#eology will find both archaeology and archeology.

The % symbol, followed by a number, may be placed between two words to indicate that you want the words to appear within a particular distance from each other, and you don't care in what order the words appear. For example, england %3 ballads will retrieve Ballads of England, Ballads of Merry Olde England, and England and Her Ballads.

The ! character, followed by a number, may be placed between two words to indicate that you want the words to appear within a particular distance from each other, and in the same order in which you type the words. In this case, ballads !3 england will retrieve Ballads of England and Ballads of Merry Olde England but not England and Her Ballads.

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Last updated June 28, 2012.