National Library of Australia

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The catalogue has standard and advanced search interfaces. You can do a standard search at any time from the input box found at the top of every page. Or if you wish to clear your screen and go back to the home page to start a new search you can click on the New Search link at the top or bottom of any page.

The advanced search can be found by following the 'Advanced Search' link, located at the top and bottom of every page.

Both searches sort by "relevance" by default. So you should see the items that most closely match your search terms appearing in the first page of results. There are also options to sort your results by Date, Author or Title. If you find something odd or unexpected in your search results, please let us know.

Wildcards are typically not needed when searching the catalogue. The search system automatically does wildcard searching (and a whole lot more) behind the scenes .

Standard Search

Simply enter one or more search terms into the search box and click "Find", or press the "Enter" key on your keyboard:


To search for a particular phrase, surround it using double quotes:


To exclude a term from your search results, prefix it with a minus sign, or the word "NOT":


Boolean searches

You can combine multiple terms using "AND" (to find records containing both terms) and "OR" (to find records containing either term):


Fielded searches

To constrain your search to a particular field, select a field from the dropdown list:


Or type the name of the field and a colon before the term:


Advanced Search

A lot of effort has been put into making the standard search "just work". You should try the standard search and you may find it provides everything you need. However the advanced search does allow you to be more specific when combining terms from different fields, to search individual parts of a series, and to limit your search by either date or language.

You can construct various search combinations using the text boxes in the advanced search page:


To limit by format or language, select the appropriate term from the dropdown lists. Or limit to a single date or range of dates by using the "Date published between" text boxes:


Power Search

The standard search box can also be used to construct "power" or "command" searches by entering field names, limits and search terms directly as a string. Here are some examples:

  • Fielded search: prefix your search term with the field you wish to search. title:"waltzing matilda"
  • Special fields: format, id, isbn, issn, date, language, isn (combines isbn, issn, ismn)
  • Range searching: useful for dates! date:[1908 TO 2008]. Or try a wildcard: date:[* TO 1970]
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags
Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other First Nations people are advised that this catalogue contains names, recordings and images of deceased people and other content that may be culturally sensitive. Please also be aware that you may see certain words or descriptions in this catalogue which reflect the author’s attitude or that of the period in which the item was created and may now be considered offensive.