Catalog Advanced Search

Search Tips

Phrase search ("")

By putting double quotes around a set of words, you are telling the search engine to consider the exact words in that exact order without any change.

Search single word exactly as is ("")

By putting double quotes around a single word, you are telling the search engine to match that word precisely as you typed it.

Terms you want to exclude (-)

Attaching a minus sign immediately before a word indicates that you do not want pages that contain this word to appear in your results. The minus sign should appear immediately before the word and should be preceded witha space. For example, the query [-English with Roman Empire] will search for the words ‘with Roman Empire’ but exclude references to the English . You can exclude as many words as you want by using the - sign in front of all of them, for example [Roman Empire -Egypt and -Africa].

Fill in the blanks/wildcard searching (*)

The *, or wildcard, is a little-known feature that can be very powerful. If you include * within a query, it tells the search engine to try to treat the star as a placeholder for any unknown term(s) and then find the best matches. For example, the search [Charlemagne*] will give you results for any title relating to the name Charlemagne. Note that the * operator works only on whole words, not parts of words.

The OR operator

The search engine’s default behaviour is to consider all the words in a search. If you want to specifically allow either one of several words, you can use the OR operator (note that you have to type 'OR' in ALL CAPS). For example, [ Cnut OR Canute will give you results about either one of these years, whereas [ Cnut Canute] (without the OR) will show pages that include both years on the same page. The symbol | can be substituted for OR. (The AND operator, by the way, is the default, so it is not needed.)