Main content area

Help searching the Catalogue

Search the catalogue

Use the Library's single search catalogue to find material in the Library's collections.

Performing a simple search

Type in keywords in the search box and click the Search button or press Enter to quickly find material in the Library's collections.

This will search for all of the words you have entered in our collection except articles. You can use OR or NOT between the words and phrases to make your search more specific.

simple_search_everything_except_articles

See the table below for more information about each option.

Search scope Description
Everything except articles
  • Books, journals, newspapers, magazines, ebooks, maps, posters, films and other published material.

  • Manuscript, oral history and picture collections.

Does not search articles in newspapers, journals or magazines.

Everything
  • Books, journals, newspapers, magazines, ebooks, maps, posters, films and other published material.

  • Manuscript, oral history and picture collections.

  • Articles in newspapers, journals and magazines.

Books, journals and maps

Books, journals, newspapers, magazines, ebooks, maps, posters, films and other published material.

Does not search articles in newspapers, journals or magazines.

Manuscripts, oral history and pictures Manuscript, oral history and picture collections.
Articles Articles in newspapers, journals and magazines.
Journal and newspaper titles

Journals, newspapers and magazines.

Does not search articles in newspapers, journals or magazines.

How can I do more with my search?

You can do more than a keyword search with the single search box. Try the following search options to get the best results for your search:

Searching for a phrase

To search for a phrase, type quotation marks around the phrase. You can combine both words and phrases in your search. If you do not wrap the phrase with quotation marks, your search will return search results that contain the individual words in the phrase, regardless of whether these words are located next to each other, in the order specified.

For example, to search for global warming as one term, type "global warming" in the search box.

phrase_searching

Searching for specific words or phrases

You can search for items that contain at least one of the words or phrases you type in the Search box. To do so, type OR between the words or phrases.

If you search for words or phrases without specifying OR or NOT, it is assumed that you are searching for all the specified words or phrases. 

For example, to search for items with the word Irish or the word Celtic, type irish OR celtic in the search box. Make sure you type the boolean operator in uppercase.

boolean_operators_or

Excluding words or phrases

You can exclude items that contain specific words or phrases. To do so, type NOT and then type the word or phrase to exclude.

Note: If you search for words or phrases without specifying OR or NOT, the system assumes that you are searching for all the specified words or phrases.

For example, to search for items with the word Celtic and exclude any of these items with the word Irish, type the following in the search box:

boolean_operators_not

Search using wildcard characters

You can include the following wildcard characters in your searches:

  • ?—enter a question mark to perform a single character wildcard search. For example, type wom?n to search for records that contain the terms woman and women.
  • *—enter an asterisk to perform a multiple character wildcard search. For example, type cultur* to search for records that contain strings, such as culture, cultural, and culturally.

Wildcard characters placed at the beginning are ignored. For example, the system treats the search terms ?aying and *aying as if you had searched for aying.

Grouping terms within a query

You can use parentheses to group terms within a query. For example, to search for Shakespeare and either tragedy or sonnet, type the following in the search box:

search_group_terms

Using Advanced Search

Advanced Search lets you determine which fields to search, how to search for your terms (i.e. contains, (is) exact, starts with), and how to combine your search terms. It also gives you other options for limiting the scope of your search.

advanced_search

Why should I sign in?

When you sign into your account, you're able to:

  • Use library services. You need to be signed in to request items and renew your loans.
  • Add items and searches to My Favourites. You can save items from your results to My Favourites and you can also save your searches to use them at another time.
  • Set alerts for your queries. You can set a query to become an alert, that is, to run automatically and send you an email notification when there are new items answering your search criteria.

My Library Card

Go to My Library Card by mouse over your login name at the top of the page then click on My Library Card. You can check the status of your requests and renew your loans. You can also find your loan history. Once you have signed in you can access My Library Card at the top of the each page.

Note: Remember to sign out so that your searches remain private and your personal settings and basket are not tampered with by anyone else.

Personal Details

To update your contact details, click Personal Details in My Library Card.

update_personal_details

To change your password, click Update Login Credentials. Click Save to save your changes.

change_password

Using My Favourites

My Favourites allows you to save and organise items that you find. To access My Favourites, click the Pin icon at the top of the page.

This section includes:

Saving items to My Favourites

Click the Pin icon next to a title to add to My Favourites.

pinned_item

Note: You must sign in to save items in My Favourites for future sessions.

Removing items from My Favourites

Click the Unpinned icon next to a title to remove from My Favourites.

unpinned_item

Viewing items saved in My Favourites

Click the Pin icon at the top of the page to view items you've saved to My Favourites.

my_favorites

Managing items

From the Saved Records option, you can perform the following operations on items:

Click the Add Labels button to enter a new label.

Button Description
edit_label
Click to Add or Remove label for selected item.
unpinned_icon
Unpin an item—Click this button to unpin the selected items.
email
E-mail items—Click this button to email the selected items.
print
Print items—Click on ... to show more action options, then click this button to print the selected items.

Understanding your results

The results list displays all the items that match your search query. Your results are usually sorted by relevance. Under Refine my results, you can change how the results are sorted by to Date-newest, Author or Title.​

Each item in the list includes:

  • Resource type—the icon beside each item indicates the format such as a book, journal and map.
  • Title—clicking the title displays more bibliographic information.
  • Author/creator and date—the item’s author/creator, and publication date.
  • Availability—look for the green "Available at" on the results list; item not available has "Check out from". If you need more information about availability check the Request tab or contact us at Ask a Librarian.
brief_results_available

Click the item's title to get more information about the item. You can view the following information depending on the format of the item:

Send to

Send the record to print, email, etc.

send_to

Request it

Sign in to request physical items (such as books and audio CDs) from our collections. Ask staff for help if the Request hyperlink doesn't display. You may need to fill in a manual request slip for material such as manuscripts and pictures.

Note: You have to sign in to your account to make a request.

Request it

Check Request Options to see if there is a copy available in the reading rooms. Look for Australian Reference, SRL Reference Shelves, or Family History.

Request it item details

Details

Details displays the item’s full record and links to further information. You can click on the Author or Subjects links to quickly find related material.

author_subjects_links

Source

Source will open the record in the Manuscript, oral histories and pictures catalogue.

Links

Find links to contents lists and Trove.

Virtual Shelf Browse

You can use Virtual Shelf Browse to quickly find related material, click on a cover to get more information about an item.

Refining your results

You can use the facets on the right hand side of the page to refine your results by AvailabilityFormat, Subject, Author/Creator, Creation Date, Collection and Language.

refine_results

Using queries and alerts

What is a query?

A query is a word or phrase you specify in the search panel to request information. You can do the following with queries:

  • View the current session's queries and results.
  • Save a query from the current session in order to use it later.
  • Activate alerts on your saved queries to have them run automatically at scheduled times to provide you with updated results from queries.
Viewing and saving queries

If you are signed in, you can save a query by clicking the Save query button, which appears next to the results count on the Brief Results page.

save_query

You can access your saved and session queries by clicking the Pin icon on the top right corner then clicking Saved Searches in My Favourites.

save_query_and_alerts

This section contains the following information:

  • This Session's saved search queries—lists all of the queries that you have performed in the current session.
  • Saved Queries & Alerts—lists all of the queries and alerts that you have saved.

Note: If you are not signed in, your queries are available only during the current session.

You can run a saved query yourself, or you can set it as an alert that runs automatically at scheduled times and sends you new results by email.

What is an alert?

An alert is a process that you will receive email notifications when there is an update to the query.

Searching for ebooks

Go to Advanced search to search by Author/creator contains ebook library.

Searching for manuscripts, oral history and pictures

You can limit your search to manuscripts, oral history, pictures and other unpublished material by changing the search scope to Manuscript, oral history and pictures. Click the dropdown menu next to the search box and select Manuscript, oral history and pictures. Click the magnifying glass icon (or press Enter) to perform your search.

Search box with keywords entered and search scope selected

The results from your search will be sorted by relevancy and will show the brief record for each result. The brief record includes:

  • Type of material (for example, textual records)
  • Title
  • Creator (may include creator birth and death dates)
  • Date (creation date/s)
  • Call number
  • Link icon—click the icon to view the collection or item record in the Manuscripts, Oral History & Pictures Catalogue
Search results showing brief records for collections

Click the record to view the full display to more information and to find links to the Manuscripts, Oral History & Pictures Catalogue.

Click the Link to Online Resource or Link to Manuscripts, Oral History & Pictures Catalogue Preview to open the collection or item record in the Manuscripts, Oral History & Pictures Catalogue for additional information and any digitised images.

Source options on a catalogue record

Link options on a catalogue record

Manuscript Index

You can also search 250,000 index entries for manuscripts compiled before 1945 in the Manuscript Index. The index is useful for searching for names (people and organisations) and manuscript collections such as the Governors Despatches and Bonwick Transcripts.

Search the Manuscript Index using the Manuscripts, Oral History and Pictures catalogue.

Searching for digitised images

Use the Manuscripts, Oral History and Pictures catalogue to search for digital content (items with digitised images or other digital files attached).