An author search looks for the name of the person or a group that has created or performed a work. This includes, authors, editors, composers, conductors, actors, directors, illustrators, translators, organizations or government agencies. An author search will find items by that author-not about that author. To find information about an author, try a SUBJECT SEARCH.
Always enter the last name first. If you are unsure of the spelling, type as much of the last name as you know. You may leave out punctuation such as commas or apostrophes.
Hurston Zora Neale
For authors who use their initials, you may leave out the punctuation, but leave a space between the initials.
Fitzgerald f Scott
Eliot t s
For authors who use just one name, enter as is:
Type an organization or group author as it is written. If you are unsure of the spelling, type as much of the name as you know. For organizations or corporations that are best known by their abbreviations, search using the abbreviated form.
American Cancer Society
United States Army
Limit/Sort Author Search
Often times your search can retrieve too many items. After you do your search, click on the Limit/Sort button to narrow your results. The most common limits with author searches include format type and sort by year. Click on the drop menus to choose your limits.
A title search looks for the title of a work. It can be the title of a book, magazine, newspaper, album, series, etc.
How to search by Title
Type as much of the title as you know in correct order, starting at the beginning (do not type A, AN, THE). Use upper or lower case letters. Punctuation is optional; you may leave out commas, colons, periods or apostrophes.
A, AN or THE
Many titles start with A, AN or THE. These are called initial articles, and it is not necessary to type them in. This includes initial articles in a foreign language.
Firm (instead of The Firm)
Miserables (instead of Les Miserables)
Divine secrets of the ya ya sisterhood (type "the" within the title)
Only use abbreviations or initials if they are in the actual title. Try searching both ways if you are unsure of the correct form.
Numbers in the Title
Numbers may be spelled out or in numeric form. Try searching both ways if you are unsure.
Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
20,000 leagues under the sea
Special characters such as +, #, @, % can be included in a title search. You might have to try your search by spelling out the symbols.
Symphony # 2 Or type Symphony no. 2
Restricting a Title search
Restrict your title search just to the words you enter by using the vertical bar ("|"). This is useful when your title is short or does not contain a subtitle.
Wedding| retrieves the title The Wedding rather than Wedding by the sea
Cowboys| retrieves the title Cowboys rather than Cowboys don't cry.
Limit/Sort Title Search
Many times a search will retrieve too many items. After you do your search, click on the Limit/Sort button to narrow your results. The most common limit used with a title search is format type. Click on the drop menus to choose your limits.
A subject search looks for works on a topic based on subject headings assigned the Library of Congress. A subject heading gathers all items on a particular topic using uniform terminology. Because they use specific terminology, it is important when performing a subject search to use the proper terms. If you are unsure of a subject heading, try using an ADVANCED KEYWORD SEARCH, where you can type the words you want in any order.
Subject headings are assigned to topics and names. If you are searching for a person, you have to at least know his or her last name. Use upper or lower case letters. Punctuation is optional; you may leave out commas, colons, periods or apostrophes.
United States history civil war
world war 1939 1945
What if I don't know the subject heading for my topic?
If you don't know the subject heading for your topic, try typing what you think it might be. If the search matches a subject heading, it will list all the relevant headings along with hyperlinks to related subjects.
Search as words
If your subject search does not match the assigned subject heading, the computer will give you the option to Search as words, which performs a keyword search. This should find relevant titles; from there choose a title that interests you. Click on the hyperlink in the catalog record for the assigned subject heading. This will retrieve additional, related materials.
Limit/Sort Subject Search
Many times a search will retrieve too many items. After you do your search, click on the Limit/Sort button to narrow your results. The most common limit used with a subject search is format type. Click on the drop menus to choose your limits.
An author/title search looks for an author's name in combination with any words from the title.
How to search by Author/Title
Author - type in as much of the author's name as you know. Type the LAST NAME FIRST. The more of the name you enter, the faster the search. Punctuation is optional; you may leave out commas, colons, periods or apostrophes.
Words in the title - enter as few title words as necessary. If possible, choose the least common words. Order is not important when typing in the title box. Use upper or lower case letters. Punctuation is optional; you may leave out commas, colons, periods or apostrophes.
There are other advantages to using Author/Title search:
Reports and other generic titles - some organizations or governmental agencies issue documents that are often titled "report" or "bulletin," making it very difficult to find them by just a title search.
Author: West Virginia University
Works with variant titles - Shakepeare's A Merchant of Venice was also published as The Jew of Venice, and the Excellent History of the Merchant of Venice.
There is no limit/sort feature when you search by Author/Title.