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Visual & Performing Arts Resources @ UTSC


LibrarySearch is a tool you can use to find resources to support your learning, teaching, and research. Use this guide to help you navigate the new system and use Ask Chat for help overcoming search challenges as they come up. To learn more advanced research strategies tailored to your specific needs, please contact the library or book a consultation with a librarian.

LibrarySearch basic interface.

What is in LibrarySearch?

LibrarySearch provides access to library collections in print and digital formats including books, articles, videos, maps, government documents, music, data sets, and more. You can also discover materials that are not available at U of T but that you can request for free through interlibrary loan.

When to use LibrarySearch?

Use LibrarySearch when you want to find:

  • Background information 
  • Several articles to get started
  • An exact book or article by title
  • Various formats (e.g. books and newspapers)
  • Sources on an interdisciplinary topic 
  • Local and/or unique resources

If you find it difficult to narrow your results, consider using a subject-specific database or see what is recommended in one of the many Research Guides.   

Basic Search

Basic Search is a simple interface that allows you to enter and search any word or phrase.

Basic search interface with the search box highlighted

As soon as you start typing in the search box, a drop-down menu will appear allowing you to choose the kind of search you prefer.

Basic search for the phrase Marsha P Johnson highlighting drop-down menu options everything, catalogue, or articles

Each option will narrow your results to a specific item format (Eg. articles) or to a specific collection (Eg. Catalogue). 

Everything Select this option for a list of results that combines all of the following options 
Catalogue Select this option for results that include books, e-books, journals, and other materials owned or licensed by U of T
Articles Select this option for results that include articles on many scholarly and professional topics  

Entering Key Terms

The search you enter can be very simple, without using any expert techniques.

Basic search interface with the two word phrase Stonewall riots entered

If you are a more experienced researcher, Basic Search also allows you to use search operators that broaden or narrow your results.

Basic search interface with more complex search including Stonewall riots in quotations and Marsha P Johnson in quotations with both phrases separated by the world and in all caps

If you would like to learn more about using "search operators" to improve your results, visit the Advanced Search page of this guide or book a consultation with a librarian.

If you would like additional options to help you narrow your search to the most relevant results, select Advanced Search.

Basic search interface highlighting location of Advanced Search button to the right of the search box

Advanced Search

If your topic needs more than a single word or phrase to describe, the Advanced Search interface can help you build that more complex search. 

When opening Advanced Search, you will see two lines where a search term can be entered. You also have the option of adding additional lines. 

Advanced search interface highlighting the location where search terms are entered. Also highlighted in the bottom left corner is the add a new line feature.

Once you have entered your search terms, you can also place limits on how and where the database searches. Each downward pointing arrow in the following image provides a different way of modifying your search.

Advanced search interface highlighting where drop-down menus can be accessed.

Using the drop down menus on the left side, you can tell the database where in the item records you would like to look for each search term. For instance, you can limit your search to locate your keyword in titles or author names as illustrated in the following image. Click on any drop down menu to see what options it provides. 

Advanced search interface highlighting the title, author and other drop down menu options.

Using the drop down menus on the right side, you can tell the database to only include items in your results that adhere to a specific criteria. For instance, using the format menu you can ask to only see results that fit a specific format like books or articles.

Advanced search interface highlighting the item format drop down menu located on the right.

Using the language menu, you can ask to see only results that are published in a specific language.

Advanced search interface highlighting the language drop down menu located on the right.

And by using the date menus, you can limit your results to items published during a specific period of time.  

Advanced search interface highlighting date feature on the bottom right.

Bringing together multiple options allows you to build that more complex search required by your research topic.

Advanced search interface modified to direct the database to locate the first search term in item titles, the second search term anywhere in the item record. Drop down menus also selected to limit results to books in English published between 2000 and 2020.