How to Use the Catalog

Try the following tips for the default basic search and browse options.


Enter keywords, a title, ISBN, call number and more to retrieve results where matching terms are located in any field.

  • Select Authors, Titles or Subjects to limit to specific fields, if desired
  • Results will include plural and singular forms, as well as common suffix and tense variations of your search terms
  • When searching by call number, enter the number with the proper spacing (for example, QT 260 T247a 1982)

Tips for Better Search Results

Use quotation marks around phrases, and include initial articles in known titles:

  • Note: Phrases such as climate change or celebrity culture may return results with variant endings (climatic change, celebrating culture), but records containing the terms you enter will rank highest.

Search for items at UW-Madison (default), or include all items at UW System:

Use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard to represent a single character and return all possible variations for a search term.

Use the minus (-) symbol to ensure that a term or terms will not appear in your results.