Search the Catalog

The Search function enables you to find records by entering keywords or phrases. To perform any search, click on Search from the menu bar. There are four different Search types available in Web OPAC, ranging from a quick Google-style query to professional/manual Boolean syntax: keywords, multi-field, expert, and command language. 

Constructing a Search 

A Search request is limited to the number of records the System is set to (for example, 5000). In addition, the default result display limit and sort limit in the results list window is 1000. 

ALEPH supports the ANDOR, and NOT Boolean operators. AND is assumed if no operator is present. Operators can be typed in English or expressed by the following shortcuts:

  • AND = + (plus sign)
  • AND = & (ampersand)
  • OR = | (vertical bar, aka "the pipe")
  • NOT = ~ (tilde)

All searches can be further limited by language, format, years and location. You can define these limits at the bottom of each Search screen. 

In addition to the Search Tips at the bottom of each Search screen, the following are additional rules for all types of searches: 

The ? character or * character (asterisk) can be placed at the left, right or middle of a portion of a word, but it can never be used more than once in a text string. 

The # symbol can be used to find variant spellings in cases where one version of the word has one more character than another version. For example, colo#:r will find both color and colour; andarch#eology will find both archaeology and archeology

The ! character can be used to find variant spellings in cases where a single character may vary. For example, wom!n will retrieve both woman and women

The % symbol, followed by a number, can be placed between two words to indicate that you want the words to appear within a particular distance from each other, irrespective of what order the words appear in. For example, england %3 ballads will retrieve Ballads of England , Ballads of Merry Olde England and England and Her Ballads

The ! character, followed by a number, can be placed between two words to indicate that you want the words to appear within a particular distance from each other, and in the same order in which you type the words. In this case, ballads !3 england will retrieve Ballads of England and Ballads of Merry Olde England but not England and Her Ballads

The -> (hyphen and greater than symbols) can be placed between two words. This indicates that you want to retrieve records that have words from (and including) the first word, through the second word. This search is particularly helpful for limiting a set of records by year of publication. You cannot use toinstead of the symbols. 

Here is an example: 1993 -> 1996