General Search Tips


Since many of the searches performed in the catalog are for an artist's name, this search allows the user to retrieve all the books about the artist and by the artist at one time.

Type the artist's last name in the Author or Subject field. Follow it by the first name or first-name's initial for a more precise search.


  • picasso pablo
  • monet
  • pollock j

Conduct the same search when looking for books by a particular author.


  • druick douglas
  • hessen otto von
  • sonnen*

Library of Congress Subject Headings are specific terms and phrases established by the Library of Congress to describe topics in a field of study. Each record in the catalog includes one or more subject headings.

If you are not sure about the precise subject heading for a topic, use the Keyword search. Once you have found a relevant item, use the subject heading listed in the record to find similar items.


  • painting american california
  • raphael, 1483-1520 exhibitions


Type the first words of the title of the book or periodical in exact order. Omit initial articles (e.g. the, an, a, le, la, etc.). Punctuation and capitalization are not necessary.


  • goya a catalogue of
  • best dutch graphic design
  • journal of architecture


A keyword search will search the title, subject, series, author, and note fields. Keyword search results are usually ranked by relevance to bring the most likely titles to the top of the list.

Boolean Searching

Boolean searching is a method of grouping keywords. The standard Boolean search operators, AND, OR, and AND NOT, affect your search as follows:

AND (default) When searching multiple words, the system will automatically supply the Boolean "and" operator between each word; multiple words entered for the search will all occur somewhere in the retrieved records though not necessarily in the order entered. Both examples below will retrieve the same results.

  • ancient egyptian sculpture
  • sculpture and ancient and egyptian

OR The OR operator is used to retrieve records that contain at least one of your search words. e.g., flemish or dutch would retrieve all records that contain either of these words.

  • flemish or dutch
  • "united states" or america

AND NOT Use the AND NOT operator to exclude terms from your search.

  • caravaggio and not gentileschi

Phrase Searching

Search for complete phrases by enclosing them in quotation marks. Words enclosed in quotes will appear together in all results exactly as typed.



  • "dutch landscape"
  • "cleveland museum of art"
  • "woodblock print"


Truncating search terms with wildcards allows a greater degree of search flexibility. Truncate by adding an asterisk at the end of the word to replace one or more letters. For example, paint* will retrieve paint, painting, painter, paints, etc.



  • vienn*
  • brueg*el
  • mann photograph*

You may also use a question mark to replace a single character anywhere within a word. For example, anders?n will retrieve both andersen and anderson.

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Advanced Search

To perform an advanced keyword search, click the "Advanced Search" link from top of the page. This will lead you to a search page with text-entry boxes and drop-down menus.

  1. Select the fields you would like to search using the drop-down menus on the left. Use quotation marks to search for phrases. These field limits will cause the system to search only the specified field for the keyword. See example below.
  2. Select how you would like your keywords to be searched by selecting the operators from the drop-down menu on the right: AND, OR, AND NOT.
  3. Select limits for your search, if you wish.
  4. Sort your results prior to launching your search, if you wish.

You can perform a keyword search in different fields at the same time by typing your words in more than one text box and selecting the appropriate fields and operators from the drop-down menus.

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Marking and Saving Records

From a results screen you can select individual records by marking the check box and then saving those records as a group. Saved records can then be e-mailed or printed as you desire.

  • To mark a record for output in a result list, click on the small box that precedes each title. You MUST click Add Marked to Bag before going to the next page of results. The marks will disappear when you have saved the records.
  • When you're viewing the record for a single item, you can also click on the Add to Bag button to save just that item.
  • Saved records are kept until cleared or until the catalog times out. To clear records click on Empty Bag.

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Printing or E-mailing Records

Once you have saved records you can choose to print or e-mail them.

  • Click on View Bag to see the list of records you have selected. If you want to remove any from the list, mark those records and click Delete Selected.
  • If you are satisfied with your selection, choose the Format of List option (brief or full). Choosing the Format option will not change the display on the screen, but it will affect the amount of information you either e-mail or print. The brief display includes Author, Title, and Imprint (publication information). The long display includes more information, including the library location and call number.
  • Alternatively, you can click on Extended Display, which will expand the view of the list, so that author, title, location, and call number are displayed. Use your browser to print these records.
  • In the upper right hand box you can choose the output option:
    • If you would like to E-mail the records, choose E-mail and type in a COMPLETE e-mail address (name@institution.domain). Then click the Submit button. The records will be sent to the designated E-mail address.
    • If you would like to print the records, choose Screen. Then click the Submit button. Use your browser to print these records.
  • After you have saved or printed your results, you can return to your search using Empty Bag or Back, or you can click Simple Search.

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Staff Login

Certain Art Institute and School of the Art Institute staff with circulating privileges will be able to log into the catalog (top right-hand corner of the search screen). This will provide access to the following:

  • List of books checked out
  • List of holds with ability to cancel any or all
  • History of books checked out (with option to opt out of this feature)
  • Opportunity to modify contact information

Once logged in, you can save preferred searches

If you have a favorite author or subject for which you often search when using the catalog, you can save the search with the click of a button. This will prevent you from having to key in the search each time and let you discover new materials more quickly.

How to:

  1. Log in to your account.
  2. Conduct your search using either the Simple or Advanced search page.
  3. When results are displayed, click the button marked Save as preferred search.
  4. The next time you log in, you can click the Preferred Searches button to see a list of your saved searches.
  5. Click on the search link associated with any of the preferred searches to quickly execute your search.
  6. You can be alerted of new materials added to the library collection that match your searches. Just check the Mark for Email box and Update List. An email will be sent to you once new materials are added to the collection that meet the search criteria.

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Searching by Collection

Auction Catalogs

Search Auction Catalogs Only to find catalogs from specific sales or types of objects sold.

For Example:

Use AUCTION HOUSE NAME or CONSIGNOR to find, all sales at Sotheby's or sales from the Vivant Denon Collection. Consignor refers to a person or estate who has given control over a sale to an agent or auction house.

Use TITLE to find, all sales entitled Modern Paintings and Drawings.

Use KEYWORD to search words in the auction house name, title, seller name(s), subject, place, lugt number, or date of sale.

For more information see KEYWORD.

Use SALE CODE if you know the exact code for a particular sale.

  • AU0681 SUNFLY

Use DATE OF SALE to find all sales occurring on a specific date. To search for a range of years, use the ADVANCED SEARCH. You can limit a search to a specific year by typing in only the year.

    • 19990518 = May 18, 1999
    • 1974 = all sales catalogs from 1974


Selecting Periodicals allows you to search the Catalog for Periodical titles only. Periodical articles and their authors are not indexed in the Catalog. You must first search an article index to find specific articles and citations. The Databases A-Z pages have lists of available online article indexes.

Consult a reference librarian if you need help finding articles within these periodicals.

Mary Reynolds Collection

The Mary Reynolds Collection contains over 900 books and periodicals on Surrealism.

Entire Collection

The Entire Collection contains everything in the collection, including auction catalogs, pamphlets, archives, books, periodicals, special collections, and multimedia.

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