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Help for Users of Colgate's Library Catalog (online catalog)

The library catalog contains records for books, periodicals, course reserves, government documents, microfilm and microfiche, sound recordings, online resources, videos, and other materials that Colgate University either owns, has licensed, or has linked to and cataloged.

The catalog represents title level indexing, although in some cases access is provided to chapters in anthologies. If you are searching for articles in a journal or other periodical, please use one of our journal indexes.

Title Search

    Beginning with the first significant word (skip initial articles), enter as much of the title as you wish. For example:
  • women leaders in african history
  • women leaders in african
  • women leaders
  • Do Not include definite or indefinite articles (a, an, the) at the beginning of a title in any language (das, gli, le). For example:
  • new york times NOT the new york times
  • Lists of initial articles to skip when searching
  • To find items in the libraries' collection for which you know the exact title.
  • To find a journal for which you know the journal name, replace "search entire catalog" in the first box with " journals and serials"
  • To find items for which you know some title words, but not the exact title. Use KEYWORD search instead.
  • To find chapter titles. Use KEYWORD search instead.
  • To find journal articles. online catalog does not index journal articles, but the Libraries' Web site provides access to databases which index journal articles by words in title.

Keyword & Advanced Keyword Search

Use for searching the author, title, subject, format and genre (i.e. videorecordings, American poetry) fields, as well as chapter titles and authors, where these are included in the contents field for an anthology.

Search Tips Explanations Examples
Boolean Operators
  • AND is the default search between terms that are not separated by other operators or enclosed in quotation marks. It recalls records with the search terms appearing in any order.
  • OR should be used between synonyms to expand the search
  • AND NOT excludes records that contain specified words
  • Use parentheses to group words when using multiple operators
  • world wide web (same as world and wide and web, as well as web and wide and world)
  • internet or "world wide web"
  • web and not spider
  • (alaska or canada) and (adventure and not vacation)
Phrases Use quotation marks to distinguish multiple words that should be searched as a phrase
  • "United States Supreme Court"
  • "environmental policy"
  • "Of Mice and Men"
Truncation Use an asterisk * to truncate at the end of a word Use a question mark ? to replace a single character
  • environment* polic*
  • wom?n
Proximity Operators NEAR specifies words within 10 words of each other, in any order, in the same field WITHIN # specifies terms which occur with so many words of each other in the record
  • California near university
  • America* within 3 econom*

Advanced Keyword searches allow all of these search options and allow the searcher to apply limits to a search. You may limit by year, publisher, format/material type, language, illustrations, and/or location.

Author Search

    Enter LASTNAME FIRSTNAME. For example:
  • stein gertrude OR JUST stein
  • day-lewis, c. (cecil)
  • Some personal authors may differ from the LASTNAME FIRSTNAME format. For example:
  • Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo
  • Elizabeth I, Queen of England
  • Boy George
  • For corporate authors, enter the name of the corporate body. For example:
  • american psychological association
  • To find items written or created by a specific author, composer, artist, or corporate body.
  • To find items about an author, composer, artist, or corporate body. Use KEYWORD or EXACT SUBJECT SEARCH instead.
  • To find journal articles by a known author, because online catalog does not index journal articles. If you are searching for articles in a journal or other periodical, please use one of our journal indexes.

Author and Title

    AUTHOR: author's or creator's LAST NAME first, for example
  • Shakespeare
  • Shakespeare, William
  • Bach, J
  • You may also type the name of an organization or governmental body, for example
  • United States Congress
  • TITLE: As many or as few of the words in the title as you want, for example
  • merchant of venice
  • Venice
  • Sonata no. 6

Exact Subject

Beginning with the first word, enter, in order, as much of the Library of Congress Subject Heading as you wish.

For example:
economics periodicals economics

To search for personal names as subjects, generally enter lastname, firstname.

For example:
shakespeare william OR JUST shakespeare Elizabeth I Queen of England
  • To find items in the libraries' catalog indexed under specific Library of Congress Subject Headings. Exact Subject Search provides the most precise method of searching the catalog.
  • To find information about individual persons.
  • To find items about more than one concept, especially if you have been unsuccessful in locating a single subject heading containing all the concepts.
    • Use KEYWORD SEARCH instead.
    • For example: atomic bomb and public opinion
  • To find items on a subject which can be expressed by more than one word or phrase, especialy when the words or phrases are NOT synonyms.
    • Use KEYWORD SEARCH instead.
    • For example: citrus or lemons or oranges or limes

Library of Congress Call Number

Enter as much of the LC Call Number as you know, with or without spaces.

For example:
pr 1143 r4 1975 OR pr1143r4

Dewey Decimal System Call Number

Type as much of the Dewey Call Number as you know.

For example
401.9 W633l OR JUST 401

NOTE: a space must precede the first alphabetical character

Government Document Call Number (SuDoc or Superintendent of Documents Call Number)

Type as much or as little of the Superintendent of Documents Call Number as you want.

For example:
d101-2:t34/2 d101-2: d101

ISBN, ISSN or Publisher Number

The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique number assigned to a specific edition of a published book and usually found on the verso or reverse side of the title page. Because it precisely identifies a single edition, it is often used in ordering books from publishers and other suppliers. To search by ISBN, enter as much of the number as you wish, with or without hyphens.

For example:
2-03-340-302-5 OR 2033403025

The ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is a unique number assigned to a given periodical or other serial publication. To search by ISSN, enter at least the first four digits, followed by a hyphen or space; you may enter or omit the final four digits as you wish.

For example:
0885-2758 OR 0885 2758 OR 0885- BUT NOT 088

The Publisher Number is a unique number assigned to a given sound recording. To search by Publisher Number, enter the entire number, including punctuation and/or spaces.

For example:
gm2013cd ck 48910 09026-62537-2 8.553039

Also included in this index are video publisher's or distributor's numbers, which may or may not be unique.

OCLC Number

The OCLC number is a unique number assigned to a cataloging record by OCLC, which maintains a cataloging database of over 50 million records used by thousands of institutions -- including Colgate -- to create their own library catalogs. It is the principle identifier used in requesting library materials for interlibrary loan. To search by OCLC number, enter as much of the number as you wish.

For example:

Be sure to check the author and/or title of records retrieved, since right truncation can lead to false hits.

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