Advanced Searching

Breakdown of Advanced Searching

When performing an advanced search, you can enter your search terms into as many boxes as you need. Below is a breakdown of what the most popular terms in the dropdown menus mean.

  • Keyword: This works the same as the basic search. It will search everywhere to try to find your search terms.
  • Subject: This is where you can search for what a work is about. This also includes the type of piece you are looking for, like violin sonatas or symphonies.
  • Title: This will search through all the titles of items we have in the library and try to find a match to the title that you have entered. This will only work with titles of works.
  • Author: This works like the “Title” option, but it searches the author or composer of the work.
  • Publisher: This searches through the publisher information to find a match for you. This is useful if you are looking for a specific edition of a piece.
  • Call Number: This is helpful if you know the call number of the item you want, and want to check if it is still in.

Formulating a Search

First, think about what you are looking for. Come up with a list of terms that you think will be useful, like the title and any opus/work number, the author, and any other information you think is important. Then, select the appropriate search fields in the drop down menus. You can combine any number of fields to create your search.

If you run out of fields to use, click the plus sign next to the search box to get another field.

Once your terms are in the boxes, you can link them through the Boolean operators “and”, “or”, or “not”. “And” will look for the two terms together. “Or” will look for either term A or term B, and will return results with either term. “Not” will exclude the term from your search, and would not return results with that term.

After completing all your search boxes and drop down menus, you have the option to select some more limits to your search. You can limit by item type, such as Printed Book, Compact Disc, or Printed Music. Limiting the search will only return results that fall into these categories.

There is also the option to search by collection, which can help you limit search results to specific parts of the library. Searching for a type of composition (duet, quartet) becomes easier by limiting the results to that part of the library.

Once you are satisfied with your search, click on the “Search” button. If the results are not what you are looking for, you can try using the options on the left side of the screen to limit your search even more, or go back to the search page to try again.

Tips and Tricks

Sometimes less is more! Too many search terms can be too specific, and you can miss out on some great results.

If you get stuck and need some help, don’t hesitate to come up to the circulation desk for help. We can help you get what you need, and clear up anything confusing.

Happy searching!

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