Basic, Advanced and Command searching

You can use Libraries Australia Search to perform simple and complex searches across the Australian National Bibliographic Database (ANBD) and a range of external databases.

Searches can be performed on any combination of authors, titles, control numbers, subject headings or keywords in author, subject, title and notes fields. They can be limited in many ways—for example, by language, publication date, ISBN/ISSN, material type and where held.

Libraries Australia Search supports Boolean operators using simple and nested logic, truncation, wildcard, relational and adjacency operators.

Basic Search

Basic Search allows you to enter a single search query similar to that of a search engine such as Google or Yahoo.

You can:

  • search by a single keyword—for example, dolphins

  • search by multiple keywords—for example, term natural will find ‘For the term of his natural life’

  • search by phrase by enclosing search terms in inverted commas—for example, “Australian Light Horse”

  • search by ISBN—for example, 0312585152

  • find books by a certain publisher—for example, Shambhala.

When doing a Basic Search, the following indexes are searched:

  • Title Keyword

  • Name Keyword

  • Subject Keyword

  • Publisher Name Keyword

  • Notes Keyword

  • Standard Identifier indexes (ISBN, ISSN, ISMN, ANBD Number, and so on)

  • Control Numbers

  • RDA Types.

When using Basic Search, note that:

  • search results are not case sensitive. The same results will be retrieved whether your search terms are in upper or lower case.

  • to search by a number (such as ISBN/ISMN/ISSN, ANBD number, Immutable number), you can type the number into the search box and search. See Appendix 3 of the Libraries Australia Search manual for other types of numbers you can search by

  • you can search with or without punctuation marks—for example, “structure, language, and style: a rhetoric-handbook” or “structure language and style a rhetoric handbook”

  • you can leave hyphens in, or use a space—for example, make-up or make up

  • you should always omit diacritics, ampersands (&) and initial articles.

Advanced Search

Advanced Search allows you to conduct more complex searches than Basic Search.

You can:

  • select indexes using multiple drop-down menus

  • select a ‘grouping’ for your search terms: all of these, any of these, as a phrase, starts with and exact match

  • combine search terms using Boolean operators

  • select Material Group Limits (as with Basic Search)

  • limit a search by year/s of publication

  • limit a search by the date the record was created

  • limit a search by where items are held—either by Australian state/territory, or in/not in your library.

The following indexes are available from the drop-down menu in Advanced Search:

  • Title

  • Author

  • Subject


  • Any Keyword

  • ANBD No./OCLC No. etc

  • Classification

  • Publisher

  • Series

  • Notes

  • Related Periodical

  • Place Published

  • Library NUC Symbol

  • Language

  • Content, media, carrier type.

When using Advanced Search, note that:

  • when doing a title search the following fields will be searched—

title proper, other title information, statement of responsibility and general material designation

series title

series added entry uniform title

uniform title

added entry title

  • when doing a title search, you should type in the complete title (except for initial articles). Include prepositions (in, to, of) and articles (the, a, an) within the title.

  • title searches assume that the search terms you input will match the title exactly, or at least match the beginning of the title. If you are not sure of the complete title, type in the first few words starting from the beginning of the title.

Command Search

Command Search is the most powerful of the search interfaces. It lets you perform more specific and complex searches than Basic and Advanced Search.

All ANBD indexes are available from the drop-down menus in Command Search. the Libraries Australia Search manual, Appendix 3 for a complete list of indexes and their codes.

Command Search requires the use of SOLR query language, as well as a familiarity with the codes used in the various database indexes.

The query builder feature enables you to use Command Search if you are less familiar with SOLR and index code. See the Libraries Australia Search manual, Appendix 3 for details of codes.

Command Search allows the use of adjacency and relational operators which cannot be used in the other 2 interfaces. See the Libraries Australia Search manual, Chapter 11 and 12 for more information on these operators.

Limiting your search

You can limit your search by material type and/or categories of material in Basic and Advanced Search by clicking the check box next to a particular category. One or more limits can be selected.

Once selected, limits remain on for the session unless you change or clear them. When you begin a new search, the limits previously selected will still be on for that search.

All limits are available when searching on the National Bibliographic Database (ANBD). Limits are not available for most of the other databases. If you combine a search on the ANBD with another database, your limits will be restricted to those available in the other database.

See the Libraries Australia Search manual, Appendix 1 or details of indexes and codes used with Material Group Limits.

Browsing terms

Browse Terms lets you browse a list of terms in a chosen database and select a term to use in a search query. To use this function, select the Browse Terms tab at the top of any Libraries Australia Search screen.

For more information on Browse Terms, see the Libraries Australia Search manual, Chapter 13.

Saving search queries and results

There are several features that allow you to save and reuse your search queries and results. These include Search History, Saved Records and Saved Searches.

For more information on saving searches, see the Libraries Australia Search manual, Chapter 6.

Other ways to search Libraries Australia

You can also search Libraries Australia without using the Libraries Australia Search interface, via the Z39.50 protocol.

For more information, see: