Library Hub Cataloguing allows you to search the records of national, academic and specialist libraries from across the UK. See our Libraries page for a list of the libraries which contribute to Cataloguing.
The Cataloguing homepage provides a basic keyword search. To search, enter your search terms into the 'Search' field, and then click the 'Search' button.
To see more advanced search options, click the 'More search options' link below the 'Search' field.
The keyword search will check the contents of a whole record, so you can use it to search for authors, titles, publishers and so on, as well as subject keywords.
Put speech marks around your search terms if you want to search for an exact phrase:
e.g. “gods of management”
Use * at the end of the root of a word to search for different word endings:
which will find records containing the words photograph, photographs, photographer, photography etc.
Cataloguing allows the use of both the Boolean operators | [OR] and - [NOT]. The default operator is + [AND].
Use the OR operator:
| [pipe symbol]
to return records which contain either or both of your terms:
e.g. einstein | gravity
which will search for all the records that contain EITHER einstein OR gravity or BOTH.
Use the NOT operator:
to limit your results to records which DO NOT contain a term. Note that there should be no space between the - [dash] and the search term that you wish to exclude, otherwise the - [dash] will be interpreted as punctuation and ignored:
e.g. einstein -gravity
which will return records which DO contain einstein but DO NOT contain gravity.
Use parentheses (round brackets):
to construct a search using a number of different operators:
e.g. (einstein | gravity) relativity
which will return results which contain all three terms, or einstein AND relativity, or gravity AND relativity, but not einstein and gravity ONLY
Note: If you wish to exclude multiple terms each one must be indicated separately, you can't group them within parentheses. To add some exclusions to the above search:
e.g. (einstein | gravity) relativity -meeting -essays -introduction
the results will now exclude records that contain any one or more of the words 'meeting' 'essays' or 'introduction'.
Use ~n at the end of a term (where n is a number) to search for approximate matches. The value of n specifies the number of changes (in characters) which can be made to your term in order to find a match for it in a record:
will return records which contain photos and photon but not photograph, which would require the addition of 5 characters. To return records containing photograph you would need to use photo~5 in your search.
Note that this option includes changes made anywhere within your term:
will return records containing iPhoto and phyto as well as photos.
Use ~n at the end of a quoted phrase (where n is a number) to search for approximate matches. The value of n specifies the number of changes which can be made to your phrase in order to find a match for it in a record. This might be to add new terms:
e.g. "einstein's theory"~1
will return records containing either of the phrases "einstein's new theory" or "albert einstein's theory". It can also include changes of position to the existing terms in your phrase:
e.g. "theory of relativity"~4
will return records containing "relativity of theory". The sequence of changes necessary can be visualised as follows:
|Position 1||Position 2||Position 3|
|Change 1||theory||of | relativity|
|Change 2||theory | relativity||of|
|Change 3||relativity||of | theory|
Searching in specified fields
You can use the keyword search box to search for terms in specific fields by adding the following prefixes to your search terms:
(See the Advanced search help for full details of search for Search Keys, Dewey Decimal Classmark, and MARC field.) .
Your search will return results containing all of the words following the prefix in the specified field up to the end of the query, or until another operator is found:
e.g. title: complete novels illustrated austen
will return records containing all of those terms in the title field, but:
e.g. title: complete novels illustrated author: austen
will return records with complete, novels and illustrated in the title field, and austen in the author field.
You can use this option in combination with other operators if you wish:
e.g. title: "pride and prejudice"
will return records containing the exact phrase "pride and prejudice" in the title field.
Including a space after the prefix is optional:
e.g. title:pride and prejudice
will be treated the same as:
e.g. title: pride and prejudice
If you are using the date: prefix, you can either supply a single year:
e.g. title: pride and prejudice date: 1813
or a range:
e.g. author: austen date: 1811-1818
1811- on its own will search for all years after (but including) 1811. -1818 on its own will search for all dates up to (and including) 1818.
Note: you cannot use the operators | [OR] and - [NOT] with the date prefix.
You can search for standard numbers using the prefixes isbn: and issn:, followed by a number. You can also enter multiple standard numbers after the prefix, each separated by a space, in order to search for multiple items at once:
e.g. isbn: 075090206X 0006724825 9780007491544
which will return records containing any of these ISBNs.
A standard number search will look for all ISBNs or ISSNs in the query, until it reaches a term it does not recognise as such, when it will revert to a keyword search:
e.g. isbn: 9780753722725 0951103520 austen
will return records containing either the number 9780753722725 or the number 0951103520 in the ISBN field and the keyword austen anywhere in the same record.
Sometimes ISBNs include extra characters or information (e.g. 0333374282 (pbk)) - you should not include these in your search:
e.g. isbn: 0333374282
will find records with '0333374282 (pbk)' in the ISBN field.
The held-by: prefix can be used to limit your search to the holdings of a specific library or libraries, and must be used in conjunction with the unique NBK library code for the relevant library (usually three letters). You can add multiple codes, separated by a space, after the prefix, in order to search the holdings of several libraries at once:
e.g. held-by: abn ban cmu
which will return records for items held by either the University of Aberdeen, or Bangor University, or Cardiff Metropolitan University, or some combination of these.
A held-by search will include all library codes in the query, until it reaches a term it does not recognise as such, when it will revert to a keyword search:
e.g. held-by: abn ban austen
will return all records from either the University of Aberdeen, or Bangor University, which also include the keyword austen anywhere in the record
The codes for all of the libraries currently contributing to the NBK can be found on our Libraries page.
You can search using scripts such as Arabic, but older records may not include original script text,
eg: Title: كتاب اختلاف أصول المذاهب
Older materials, as well as recent ones, will include transliterated text. Transliteration variations can be a problem, so try variant spellings,
eg. try searches for Dubrovsky vs Dubrovskii