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Title Searching

What is a title search?

A title search allows you to browse for items by title, including series titles (e.g. Studies in Psychology) and journal titles (e.g. Newsweek, Journal of Religion).

Please note that journal articles and newspaper articles are not listed in the catalog. For that, you'll need to use an online index, such as Academic Search Premier or Summon.

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How to search by title

Start at the beginning of the title (excluding initial articles). Type as much of the title as you want in the correct order.

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Initial Articles

Omit initial language articles - even in foreign languages (a, an, the, le, la, etc.), but include articles within the title.

hobbit Not "the hobbit"
ninos de la guerra Not "los ninos de la guerra"
express Not "L'Express"


If an initial article is part of a proper name, include it in your search:

Los Angeles Times Include the article because it is a proper name.

Do not drop initial prepositions:

On Wall Street Retain "on" in the title - it is a preposition, not an initial article.

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Punctuation & Case

Apostrophes, colons, semicolons, and case are ignored by the catalog when searching.

Sophie's Choice Same results as "sophies choice"

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Abbreviations & initials

Use abbreviations or initials only if that is how it appears in the title. If you aren't sure of the proper form, try searching both ways.

dr. strangelove Not "doctor strangelove"
doctor zhivago Not "dr zhivago"


Periods should be included when they appear within an abbreviation. Please note that abbreviations in titles do not consistently have periods and that you might have to check under both forms. The catalog uses the form that appears on the item.

a.j. ayer a life Not "aj ayer a life"
u.s.a. today Finds the item by Erskine Caldwell
usa today Finds the newspaper

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Spelling variants

If the item was published in the United Kingdom or the British Commonwealth, try the British spelling if you don't find what you're looking for.

color and color theories
colour and colour theories

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Numbers in titles

Numbers may be either spelled out or in numeric form. Try both ways to be sure you find all items.

twenty thousand leagues under the sea
20,000 leagues under the sea

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Special characters in titles

The following special characters can be included in title searches: +, #, $, @, %, but also try your search with the symbol spelled out to be sure you find all items.

C++ Also try "C plus plus."
symphony #2 Also try "symphony no. 2"

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Restricting your title search

You can restrict your title search just to the words you enter by using the vertical bar ("|"). This can be helpful when looking for items with short titles that otherwise would retrieve many more items than desired.

american history|

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Uniform Titles

UNIFORM TITLES are titles added to the catalog record to bring together items that have complex or variable titles. Religious, legal, literary and musical works are likely to have uniform titles. Some examples:

Bible. Latin ... finds Bibles in Latin.
Sonatas guitar ... scores or recordings of guitar sonatas.

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Limiting & Sorting your title search

If you retrieve too many entries from your title search, click on the Limit/Sort button to narrow down your result set. The most commonly used lmit is Web Resources

For information on all available Limit/Sort options, follow this link.

Science| Limit to:
... Web Resources

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I don't know the exact title...

If you aren't sure of the beginning of your title, or know only some of the words, try a KEYWORD search.

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The help I need isn't here...

Please contact a Reference Librarian for assistance with the problem you're having.

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Last Updated: 5/4/17