Library Catalog Help Center

Use our Ask-A-Librarian service if you need additional help using the Library Catalog

Keyword Search

Keyword searches across author, title, note, and subject fields. This is a good search to use if you aren't sure of the title or author's name, or subject terms.


Keyword search results are automatically grouped and ranked by relevancy. This is intended to bring the best results to the top. Titles within each relevancy group display in order from most recent date to oldest.

Relevance Groupings

Most relevant Most relevant titles : the search phrase or term appears in the main title

Highly relevant Highly relevant titles  : the search phrase appears in the sub-title or other title information

Very relevant Very relevant titles : the search phrase appears the contents or series notes, or subject headings

Relevant Relevant titles : words from the search phrase appear in the title, but not as an adjacent phrase

Other relevant Other relevant titles : words from the search phrase appear anywhere in the record 

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Advanced Keyword Search Tips

Using the Advanced Search or clicking on modify your search from Keyword search results will provide options for limiting your search by format, language, location, and publisher. Hold down the CTRL key to select multiple limits; multiple selections will be OR'd together (e.g. format: DVD or Video)

Multiple Words

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.

Phrase Searches

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


A phrase Search:
"university science department"


*   Matches any number of non-space characters, starting at the specified position in the word. For example, "comput*" will match all words that begin with "comput" (e.g., "computer", "computation", etc.).
The '*' wildcard may also be embedded in a search string.

?   You may use a question mark ('?') to replace a single character anywhere within a word.


* Wildcard:
environment* polic*

? Wildcard:

Boolean Operators

Use AND or OR to specify multiple words in any field, any order. Use AND NOT to exclude words. Select the operator you wish to use from the selection list on the Advanced Search form.


Using Boolean operators:
stocks and bonds
stocks or bonds
stocks and not bonds

Field Limits

Field limits may be specified by selecting a field limit from the selection list. These limits appear before the word or phrase to be searched. A field limit causes the system to search only the specified field for the specified word(s).

Field Limits and their meanings:

  • Author: Search only author fields
  • Title: Search only title fields
  • Subject: Search only subject fields
  • Note: Search only note fields

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Title Searches

Begin with the first word and type as much or as little of the title as you want. Do not use initial articles (a, an, the) in any language. Add the pipe character [|] at the end of one or two word titles to indicate an exact match is needed.



  • merchant of venice
  • biomedical engineering handbook
  • journal of macroeconomics
  • algunos pelos del lobo
  • nature|

If you are unsure of the exact title, use a Keyword search instead.

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Subject Searches

Subject headings identify materials about a topic, person, or organzation, or created in a specific genre (e.g. musicals, mystery films, etc.). A subject search finds records assigned subject terms established by the Library of Congress.



  • economics bibliography
  • set theory
  • steinbeck john
  • united nations
  • university of miami

An unsuccessful result may mean you are not using the LC Subject Heading assigned your topic. To determine the appropriate subject term:

  • Perform a KEYWORD search, then look at the terms under Subject. Click on the highlighted subject heading to perform a new search
  • Ask-a-Librarian for help in determining appropriate subject terms for your topic

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Author Searches

An author search includes names of persons, companies, government bodies, or organizations associated with the creation of the work within the library's collection. Artists, composers, performers, and other contributors are also included.

Enter all or part of an author’s or artist’s name, last name first. You may also type the full or partial name of an organization or group.



  • goleman daniel
  • goleman
  • shakespeare
  • united states congress
  • american medical

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LC Call Number Searches

The Library of Congress (LC) classification system establishes a unique call number for books, music scores, and periodicals, and is used to organize these materials on the shelves by subject. The first part of the call number indicates the subject; the last part generally designates the author / date of publication.

Browsing by a shortened version of the number will simulate browsing in the shelves.

Type as much or as little of the call number as you want. Spaces are only needed before dates. Decimal points must be included.



  • HF54
  • HF 54.5
  • HF54.5m34
  • hf54.5m34 1994

A detailed summary of the Library of Congress Classification schedule & related subjects is found at the Library of Congress web site.

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Local Call Number Searches

Local call numbers are assigned by the Library and used primarily for non-book materials or for items in special locations. They are alpha-numeric, with the alpha prefix generally indicating format, subject or location of material.

Browsing by a shortened version of the number will simulate browsing in the shelves and/or display all items in a particular physical format.

Type the Local Call number you want to find, then press Enter or click Submit.


Type as much or as little of the local call number as you want.


  • dvd    [brings up all DVDs]
  • CD-2500
  • thesis    [brings up all UM theses & dissertations]


Call Number Prefix Assigned to:
AUD audio books on CD
Cass audio cassettes
CD music compact discs
Cdisk computer disks
FUND International Monetary Fund documents
LEG Florida Legislature documents
LP spoken word LP sound recordings
MAP maps
mfiche microfiche
mfilm microfilm
SPECIAL items in Special Collections
Thesis UM Doctoral or Masters theses
VID videos
Z LPs other than classical and/or more than 4 composers

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Government Document Number [SuDoc] Searches

Superintendent of Document (SuDoc) numbers are established by the U.S. Superintendent of Documents and are used to organize federal government documents. Florida state governmental agencies use a similar system for Florida government documents. The beginning alpha-numeric sequence for both federal and state documents indicates the governmental agency issuing the document.

Browsing by a shortened version of the number will simulate browsing in the shelves and/or display all items by a particular agency.

Type as much or as little of the number as you want. Include punctuation and spaces.



  • D 114.2  [U.S. Dept. of Defense]
  • HE 20.8216:27   [U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services]

Consult the 'How to Find: Government Document Numbers' guide for a listing of the U.S. and Florida governmental agency prefixes.

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ISBN/ISSN Searches

The ISBN [Internation Standard Book Number] and ISSN [International Standard Serial Number] are unique numeric indentifiers assigned by publishers for books and serials [journals, magazines, etc.]. These numbers help distinguish one title and/or edition from another.

Type the ISBN, ISSN, or technical report number as it appears. Punctuation and spaces can be omitted if desired.



  • 0060254920
  • 0303-7207
  • epa 520-b-00-008

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Music Publisher Number Searches

Music publisher numbers are plate or publisher numbers from music scores and record label or matrix numbers from music sound recordings. These numbers are typically found in publisher's catalogs, bibliographies, and discographies, as well as on the items themselves.

Type the music publisher number with exact spaces and punctuation.



  • e.e. 4083 [Eulenburg plate no.]
  • 2757 G Schirmer [Schirmer publisher no.]
  • CS 6873 [London LP record no.]
  • CDC 555138 [Angel CD no.]

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OCLC Number Searches

OCLC numbers are unique control numbers assigned to each bibliographic record in the OCLC WorldCat Database

Type the OCLC number you want to find, then press Enter or click Search.


Type as much or as little of the OCLC number as you want.


  • 1234567
  • 26158752

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