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.
Use LibrarySearch when you want to find:
For detailed explanations about how to use LibrarySearch, see our library guide on LibrarySearch search tips.
To improve your search experience and gain access to advanced features, always begin by clicking the Sign In button pictured below.
Once you have signed in to LibrarySearch you can:
Please note: LibrarySearch times out after 30 minutes of inactivity, automatically signing you out and resetting itself to the default search page.
Basic Search is a simple interface that is best for searching for a single word or phrase, or for searching for the exact title of a book or article.
To begin, choose a keyword. This should represent the most important concept in your research question. If you need help, check out the library's help page on choosing good keywords.
The search you enter can be very simple, without using any expert techniques. If you are a more experienced researcher, Basic Search also allows you to use search operators like OR and AND that broaden or narrow your results.
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.
Each option will narrow your results to a specific item format (e.g. articles) or to a specific collection (e.g. the catalogue). If you are searching for books or e-books, select Catalogue. This will exclude journal articles from your results.
|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|
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. Enter search terms representing each of your main concepts in their own lines. If you would like to combine multiple keywords for each concept, you can use search operators like AND and OR within the search lines.
Once you have entered your search terms, you can also place limits on how and where LibrarySearch searches. Each downward pointing arrow in the following image provides a different way of modifying your search.
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.
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.
And by using the date menus, you can limit your results to items published during a specific period of time.
Bringing together multiple options allows you to build that more complex search required by your research topic.
Once you have input your search terms and clicked the search button, a set of results will appear that conforms to the criteria you identified.
Each results page is divided into two sections. The menu on the left side provides various ways to narrow your search. Check off the boxes for the filters you'd like to use, then click the Apply Filters button. For example:
The content on the right is a list of results comprised of source records. Each list of results begins with the total number of sources your search has retrieved.
"Record" is the word that the library uses to describe each item in your set of results. So each complete set of results is comprised of any source records retrieved through your search.
Item records are important because they provide basic information about each source including:
Each element of the brief record is highlighted with a number in the following image.
If you would like to see more information about a specific item, click on the source title. This will open a more detailed version of the record as pictured below.
During the pandemic, we have access to online versions of certain print books in our collection through the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service. To check if a book is available online through HathiTrust, click on the Get It button in the item's record.
The system will automatically link you to the book in the HathiTrust library if it's available. If not, the system will tell you if you can request the print book for curbside pickup.
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