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Tutorial: Searching The Catalog


Searching the Online Catalog

This guide will help you search the Drexel University Libraries catalog for print and electronic books, audiovisuals, and print and electronic journals at Hagerty Library and at the two Health Sciences Libraries.


Searching Specific Locations

By default, a catalog search encompasses the collections of all the Drexel University Libraries. To search only one of the Libraries, use the pull-down box on the quick-search page or from one of the Search Options, to select:

  • Hagerty Library
  • Health Sciences Libraries
  • All Electronic Resources
  • Hagerty Archives
  • Journals
  • Hagerty VHS/DVDs/Films

See below for information about searching Electronic Resources.

To search for a more specific location within Hagerty Library or to search the collection of one of the Health Sciences Libraries, there are two options:

Limit/Sort also offers options for limiting search results to specific types of materials, languages, and dates. Note that the Limit/Sort option is not available for the results of a Keyword or Advanced Keyword search.Advanced Keyword Search: Advanced Keyword searching allows the option of pre-limiting a search by locations, as well as by date, material type, etc. Advanced Keyword Search: Advanced Keyword searching allows the option of pre-limiting a search by locations, as well as by date, material type, etc.


  • Limit Search: from the list of results for an Author, Title, or Subject Search, click on the Limit/Sort button at the top of the page. Use the pull-down box next to "Where item is located" to limit your search results.

Author, Title, Subject, and Keyword

Use the Quick Search page, or select one of the Search Options to search by Author, Title, Subject or Keyword. The Search Options screens will give examples of how to enter your search terms.

  • Subject Search: In general, use Library of Congress (LC) Subject Headings to search for non-biomedical topics; use Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) to search for biomedical topics. Note that some older materials on biomedical topics in the Hagerty Library collections may be indexed only with Library of Congress headings, and that some older materials on non-biomedical topics in the Health Sciences Libraries collections may be indexed only with MeSH terms. It may be necessary to use both types of subject headings for a comprehensive search in some subject areas. If you enter a term that is not actually a subject heading, usually the results screen will refer you to the recommended term. If you still can not identify a good subject heading for your topic, try a Keyword or Advanced Keyword search. Keyword Search: This is a good place to start if you are not sure of an appropriate subject heading for your topic, or if you know some of the words in the title of a book but not the exact title. Examples on the Keyword Search Options page offer instructions for using Boolean searching (AND, OR), truncation and other options. A Keyword Search can lead you to subject headings that might be appropriate for your topic; choose one or two titles from the results that are relevant to your topic, and look at the Subject listed beneath the Location information. Click on one of the headings listed in the record to do a Subject Heading search.
  • Because the Limit/Sort function is not available for the results of a Keyword Search, use Advanced Keyword Search to pre-set limits by location, material type, etc.


Advanced Keyword Search

The Advanced Keyword Search option offers all of the possibilities of Keyword searching, including Boolean searching (with or without specifying fields), truncation and proximity, combined with options for limiting a search by location, material type, dates, etc. and for choosing to sort the search results by date, alphabetically or by relevance.


Search for Electronic Books

To find Electronic Books available through the Drexel University Libraries search by author, title, subject or keyword from the Quick Search page or from one of the Search Options, and restrict your results to E-books by selecting Electronic Resources from the pull-down list. Use the E-book Collections link to search for individual titles in some of the large collections (i.e., NetLibrary) that may not be included in the catalog.


Searching for Journals

Because electronic journals are not currently included in the catalog, this Search Option diverts to a special utility created to search both the print and electronic journal collections simultaneously. After selecting Journal Title from the search options, then select theTitle option to search starting with the beginning word of a journal title, Title Keyword to search for a word that may be in the middle of a title, or ISSN - do not forget that print and electronic versions of a journal may have different ISSN's.

From the results, click on the SFX button to access the electronic version of a title. Click on View Print Journal Record to see more information from the Catalog about a journal title owned in print.


Searching for Audiovisual Materials

To identify audiovisual materials search by Author, Title or Subject, then click on Limit/Sort. In the "Material type" pull-down box, choose "SLIDE/FILM/VID", "MUSIC SOUND", "NONMUSIC SOUND" or other AV material type. These materials types can also be specified when using the Advanced Keyword search option.

Another way to find audiovisual materials is to select the Browse AV Lists link in the SERVICES box for lists of DVDs, VHS videocassettes and Film -- these lists currently include only items at Hagerty Library.


Displaying Results

When you have a list of your search results on the screen:

  • Use the pull-down box headed System Sorted to sort the list by Author, Title, Year (older material first) or Reverse Year (recent material first). This option will not appear for the results of a Keyword or Advanced Keyword Search; use the Sort function on the Advanced Keyword Search form instead.
  • Click on the desired entry to view the full record of information on the title.
  • The HOLDINGS information will give you the CALL NUMBER of the title and the LOCATION in the Library.
  • Location prefixes are:
    • Hagerty - Hagerty Library or Archives
    • HL - Hahnemann Library
    • QL - Queen Lane Library
  • Click on Extended Display to see more information (call number, location, availability) about items in a list.


Printing Results

Use the Web Browser's PRINT button to print your information. If you are printing at the Library, there may be a fee for the paper you use. Please ask at the Reference Desk about printing fees. Mark/Save Records to gather records into a list for more efficient printing, or to email or download records.


Saving Records (Marking and Exporting)

When you want to print, save or email a list of records from the Catalog, instead of printing them individually, use the Save/Export function.

To save records from a browsing list (for example the resulting list from an Author search):

  • Click on the box in the column labeled Mark.
  • When you have marked all the records you want from that page, click on the Save Marked Records button at the top or bottom of the page (do this before you go on to the next page of the list).
  • If you continue searching and mark additional records, those records will be added to your saved list.

When you are viewing an individual title record, save it by clicking on Save Records at the top of the screen.

When you have finished selecting records to save, click on the Export Saved Records button. The next screen will display all the records you have marked. You can then choose to email the records, display them on the screen (use this option to print your list) or save them on a local drive or disk.

Whether you e-mail or save the file of catalog records, when you return to the screen displaying your search results, be sure to click the Clear Saved Records button.


Requesting Books

If you want to borrow a book from one of the Libraries other than the one you usually visit, or if you would like to have a book that is currently on loan put on hold for you, click on Request Item. Enter your name and University ID number, and select the location at which you want to pick up the book. You will be notified by email when it is ready to be picked up.


Renewing Items Online

Use Your Library Record, logging in with your name and University ID number, to see what books you have out, when they are due, and to renew books (this may be limited to once per item, or restricted by other circulation policies). Your Library Record will also show you the status of requests of holds that you have placed.


AV and Book Lists

Browseable lists are available for special parts of the Libraries' collections, including Leisure books at Hagerty and the Health Sciences Libraries, and the DVD, VHS and Film collections at Hagerty Library. Look for Browse AV Lists and Browse Book Lists on the Services menu.


For More Help

Help with searching the catalog
Help with renewing books, or requests
Hagerty Library 215-895-2755 215-895-2767
Hahnemann Library 215-762-7184 215-762-7631
Queen Lane Library 215-991-8749 215-991-8740

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