Power Searching Options

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators allow terms to be combined with logic operators. The following operators are allowed: AND, OR, and NOT. Note: Boolean operators must be ALL CAPS


The AND operator is the default conjunction operator. This means that if there is no Boolean operator between two terms, the AND operator is used. The AND operator matches records where both terms exist anywhere in the field of a record.To search for records that contain "economics" and "Friedman" use the query: economics Friedman or economics AND Friedman


The OR operator links two terms and finds a matching record if either of the terms exist in a record.To search for records that contain either Keynes or Friedman, use the query:Keynes OR Friedman


The NOT operator excludes records that contain the term after NOT.To search for records that contain "economics" but not "Friedman" use the query:economics NOT Friedman

Note: The NOT operator must be combined with other terms. For example, the following search will return no results:NOT economics

Phrase Searching

The Library Catalog does not search for phrases unless they are entered in quotes, such as “Chicago School”.

A phrase entered without quotes will be searched as a Boolean “AND”: Chicago School will be searched as Chicago AND School. This may not be apparent due to the relevance ranking of your results.


By default, searches in the Library Catalog make use of stemming. This means that, in addition to searching for your search terms as entered, the Catalog will also search for related terms, such as plurals, participles, and adjectives with the same root. For example, a Title search for “politic” will also return records that include “politics”, “political”, and “politically”.

Stemming is not applied to Author, Call Number, or ISBN, ISSN, etc. keyword searches.

Search without stemming by entering one the following field labels in the keyword field. Separate the field label and your term with a colon and no spaces.

Label Index searched Example
title_full_unstemmed Searches the main title index title_full_unstemmed:politic
finds politic but not politics or political
topic_unstemmed Searches subject headings topic_unstemmed:rhodes
finds Isle of Rhodes but not Rhode Island
allfields_unstemmed Searches all fields but call number allfields_unstemmed:concept
finds concept, but not concepts or conceptual

Proximity Searching

Use the tilde ~ symbol at the end of a Multiple word Term. For example, to search for economics and Friedman that are within 10 words of each other, enter:
"economics friedman"~10
The quotation marks are required.

Term Boosting

Term boosting allows you to give a search term more weight in the relevance ranking. Use the ^ symbol followed by a number
economics and Friedman^5

Truncation and Wildcards


Use the asterisk symbol to search for variations of words.
Searching for test* will find test, tests, tester, testing, etc.


Use the question mark symbol to replace one character in a word.
For example, to search for "text" or "test" you can use the search:

Use the asterisk symbol to replace multiple characters in a word
Searching for colo*r finds color and colour.

Truncation and wildcards cannot be used in phrase searches.

Field Searching

You can limit a search to specific fields in a record by entering field names in the keyword search box, using the syntax: field_label:search terms.

Some general guidelines for using field searching:

  • You must not leave spaces between the field name, the colon and your search terms.
  • Field names are case-sensitive.
  • Multiple fields may be combined using Boolean operators.
  • Enter phrases in quotes.
  • To search for multiple terms in a field, enclose them in parentheses. This will combine the terms using the Boolean AND operator.
  • Authors must be entered as "Last Name First Name". A comma is not necessary.
Field Label What it Searches Example
author Main author. For works with multiple authors, this will only find the first author. author:plato
author:Bellow Saul
author2 Added authors. This includes non-first authors of works with multiple authors, corporate authors, conference names author2:Engels
author2:(Ford Motor Company)
author2:"United States. Department of the Interior."
callnumber-search Searches for any type of call number. You must omit spaces and prefixes such as f, AudCD, or microfm. callnumber-search:HG3881*
contents Table of contents. This is not available for all items in the catalog, however. contents:friedman
contents:"stirling bridge"
donor Endowed fund used for purchase or donor of materials donor:Harris
id Item bib number, its unique identifier in the database id:5017168
isbn May omit dashes isbn:0226111008
issn May omit dashes issn:0002-8282
language Language names are case-sensitive, e.g. German language:French
language:"Ancient Greek"
notes Additional information about a work. May include contents notes:facsimile
notes:(limited edition)
oclc_num Unique identifier from OCLC, provider of WorldCat oclc_num:23140494
performer Participant in some type of recording, generally music or motion picture performer:coltrane
performer:(harrison ford)
publisher Not case sensitive publisher:oxford
publisher:"university of chicago press"
publication_place Not case sensitive publication_place:Chicago
publication_place:"New York"
publishDate May use the range search [2000 TO 2002] "TO" must be capitalized publishDate:1999
publishDate:[1999 TO 2003]
series Works published as part of a monographic series. series:loeb
series:(lecture notes)
title Searches the main title exactly as it appears. No tables of contents or other title fields are searched. title:(romeo and juliet)
title_alt Searches for variations in the main titles and titles from tables of contents. Does not search the main title title_alt:(romeo and Juliet)
title_uniform Searches specialized field designed to identify resources that might have variations in title name; but does not also search the main title. Can bring up records with title in other languages title_uniform:(romeo and Juliet)
topic Library of Congress Subject Headings. Not case sensitive; punctuation can be omitted. topic:econometrics
topic:(united states history civil war)

Limit by format using field labels

Limit to a specific format by using the field label "format".
These formats are used in the Library Catalog. Format types are case-sensitive and multi-word formats must be enclosed in quotation marks. Items may have multiple format types.

Format Type
Archives/Manuscripts Primarily items held in Special Collections, but may include reproductions of manuscripts
Audio Includes audio recordings in any format
"Blu-ray disc" Video recording in Blu-ray format
Book Can be printed works and electronic books
CD Can include audio, data, text and images
Dissertations Ph.D dissertations and masters theses
DVD Can include data, text and video
E-Resource Any item with a URL in its record.
Image Includes photographs and printed images, such as posters
Journal Includes journals, newspapers and other titles published on a regular basis
Laserdisc A type of video recording
LP Long Playing record, a type of audio recording
Map Maps of all types. Includes some atlases
Microform Includes microfilm and microfiche
"Music recording" Any type of audio
"Music Score" Printed music
Photograph Digitized photographs
"Spoken word recording" Audio recording without music
Video Includes video recordings in any media format
"Video cassette" Type of video recording

An example search would be "format:LP".

Limit by Library using field labels

Limit to a specific library by using the field label "building". You must use either the full library name in quotes or the truncation symbol, *. Names are case sensitive. These are the names as used in the catalog:
"Crerar Library"
"D'Angelo Law Library"
"Eckhart Library"
"Mansueto Library"
"Regenstein Library"

Example searches:
building:"D'Angelo Law Library"

Library by collection using field labels

Limit to a specific location using the field label item_collection. These are case sensitive and you must use either the full collection name in quotes or the truncation symbol, *.

"Crerar Reference"
"Crerar Reserves"
"Law Reserves"
"Eckhart Reference"
"Eckhart Reserves"
"Regenstein Recordings"
"Regenstein Reference"
"Regenstein Reserves"
"Regenstein Reference"
"Regenstein TECHB@R"
"SSA Reserves"

These are collections held in the Special Collections Research Center:

"American Drama"
"American Newspapers"
"Atkinson Collection of American Drama"
"Austrian Collection of Drama"
"Codex Manuscripts"
"Crerar Manuscripts"
"Crerar Rare Books"
"Drama Collection"
"EB Children's Literature"
"Helen and Ruth Regenstein Collection of Rare Books"
"Historical Children's Books”
"Lincke Collection of Popular German Literature"
"Lincoln Collection"
"Ludwig Rosenberger Library of Judaica"
"Modern Poetry Rare"
"Rare Books"
"University of Chicago Press Imprint Collection"