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WorldCat Searching Tips  

If it's out there, you should be able to find it here. These advanced searching tips will help you zero in on exactly what you're looking for.
Last Updated: Aug 28, 2012 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

WorldCat Searching Print Page

OCLC Network

In WorldCat, you're searching:

  • 72,000 libraries
  • 2 trillion holdings
  • 470 languages
  • 170 countries

If it's not held by Lamson Library, chances are good that we can get the item you want through Interlibrary Loan.


Search Options:




Search Shortcuts

Here are some good search shortcuts (command line searching):

A few minutes reviewing this page might save you hours of fruitless searching!

Don't use any characters other than letters or numbers in your searches.  Punctuation marks (ampersands, exclamation points, question marks, etc.) aren't necessary.

Command line searching allows you to be very specific.  Combine various search techniques in one "command line." 

For example:  You want to find a recording of Mark Twain's short story, "The celebrated jumping frog of Calaveras County."  A friend told you there was a famous recording that was made in 2003.  Okay, not too probable, but you get the idea. 

  • You know you want a CD, so, kw:cd -- looking for the kew word cd somewhere in the record.  
  • You know the author is Mark Twain, so, au:twain -- looking for twain in the author field
  • You know the words "jumping frog" are in the title, but not the title of the book, so, nt:"jumping frog" -- looking for the phrase "jumping frog" in the notes field where the contents would be, well, noted.
  • You know the year the recording came out, so, yr:2003 -- looking in the publication date field

A command line search would look like this:

kw:cd au:twain nt:"jumping frog" yr:2003

And this is the record this search pulls up: 

Great American stories : 10 unabridged classics

Author Search

Just type "au:" followed by the author's name.  Order isn't important: sigmund freud OR freud sigmund will return the same results.

example       --  au:sigmund freud

Title Search

Just type the title into the search box.  Or use the field name "ti:" followed by the title.  Note: this is a keyword in field search, so to get the words in a particular order, you'll want to put them in quotation marks -- exactly like a Google search

example       --  ti:"interpretation of dreams   [note quotation marks]

Keyword Search. 

If you don't specify a field, the search will look for the word in every field of the record.  If you want to do a more sophisticated search, combining specific search methods allows for very exact results

example        -- au:freud    kw:dora

Subject Search. 

If you know a word that appears in the subject field, you can specify searching in that field -- "su:"

               example          --   su:dreams     

or combine field searches

                                      su:dreams    kw:freud

Advanced Searching.

Check out some of the advanced searching options or check the index labels options.  These are just some of the more common prefixes you can use to make your searches more specific than possible with our previous catalog:

au: Author Search
su: Subject Search
kw: Keyword Search
mt:    Material Type Search e.g. mt:dvd
nt:       Notes Field Search e.g. nt:"New York Graphic Society"
ln: Language Search
isbn: ISBN Search
yr: Year of publication Search

Search Lamson Library and the World

Use this search box, located on nearly every library webpage, to find the materials you need whether in Lamson Library or any of thousands of libraries around the world.

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