Keyword search

The keyword search allows you to search for records based on author, title or subject keywords, or a combination of these.


This search includes any names associated with the creation of a document, including editor, illustrator, etc. It does not include name as subject.

You may Enter a name in its familiar or inverted form, e.g.:
     'Charles Dickens' or 'Dickens, Charles'

You may also use quotes to indicate a phrase. However if you place quotes around the whole name, the name should be inverted, e.g.:
     "Dickens, Charles"
     "Snow, C P"


This search queries the main title within records.

You may enter a full title, or keywords, using quotes to indicate an exact phrase, e.g.:
     "Evolution of speech"


This search queries the specific subject field(s) only within the bibliographic records.

You may enter one or more subject keywords or phrases, using quotes to indicate an exact phrase e.g.:
     engineering railways history
     "humans rights abuses"

It is worth noting that not all of the records sent to us have subjects added in this way, so a subject search will not show you all of the records in the database related to a particular subject, and you may find it helpful to supplement it with further searches trying different strategies.

Year Published:

You can enter a single year in the 'Year Published' field, or a range, e.g.:

1455-1501 (for materials published between 1455 and 1501 inclusive)

1455- (for materials published after, but including, 1455)

-1501 (for materials published up to, and including, 1501)

The publication date can sometimes result in unexpected records being found in your search results. For example, a journal record may have a date of 1855 for the first issue, but no end date to say that it has ceased publication. In this situation the journal would be retrieved for any search that includes a date from 1855 to the current year - assuming the record matches your other search criteria (e.g. title words).

To carry out a search, add your terms to the relevant fields, and click 'Search' at the bottom of the page.

See Refinement options for guidance on the options to further refine your search.

Running a keyword search as a batch search

Using the batch search option will save your search results in your search history, allow you to re-run the search at any time from your search history, and bypass the standard search maximum of 5000 records for refining and visualising results, meaning that you will be able to view graphs for larger results sets.

Batch searches also run in the background, allowing you to use the browser window for other things, or to do another search while waiting for your results.

You should select the 'Treat as a batch search' option if think your results set may be large, you wish to save the results in your search history, or you would like to be able to re-run the search in the future to check for changes.

To run a keyword search as a batch search:

  • Enter your search terms in the Author / Title / Subject fields as appropriate
  • Select the 'Treat as batch search' option
  • Click 'Search' at the bottom of the page

The ‘Batch search in progress’ screen will display whilst the search is running: large batch searches can take a little while.

When the search is complete the results page will automatically be displayed. Or, if you have been doing other things, you can check your results in your search history later. Your batch search results set will be retained for ONE WEEK, but your search can be re-run at any time from your search history.