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Banner: AMICUS
Canadian National Catalogue
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AMICUS Help
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Basic Search
Advanced Search
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Advanced Searching

Select a topic below or the Help Contents

Advanced Searching

After you have mastered basic searching you can use the Advanced Search screen to broaden or narrow the search.

  • You can narrow a search that finds too many records. For example, you can narrow a search of Alice Munro's works to find only those with women in the title.
  • You can broaden a search that finds too few records. For example, you can broaden a search on budgies to also find parakeets.

Alternatively, registered users can use the Command Search to search with commands instead of menus.

Narrowing a Search

You can narrow a search that finds too many records. For example, you can narrow a search of Alice Munro's works to find only those with women in the title.

AND

You can use "AND" to combine two or more search terms. AMICUS searches for works that include your terms. Use keyword indexes for faster results.

Screen shot of Operator box
  • Find works by Alice Munro with women in the title
    1. Select the Advanced Search screen
    2. Select the Name Keyword index from the Index list
    3. Type munro alice in the entry box
    4. Select the operator AND
    5. Select the Title Keyword index in the second row
    6. Type women in the second entry box
    7. Click the Submit button
TIP Avoid combining a keyword with an exact term in your search. Using two keywords is more efficient than using a keyword and exact term.

NOT

You can use "not" to exclude a term from the search results. AMICUS finds items except those with this term. Use keyword indexes for faster results.

  • Find works by Alice Munro except those with women in the title.
    Follow the steps above and replace AND by NOT in step 4.

" " (quotation marks)

You can use quotes to search for a phrase or string of keywords. AMICUS searches for the words together rather than as separate words.

  • Find titles with the phrase acid rain.
    1. Select the Title Keyword index on the Basic or Advanced Search screen
    2. Type "acid rain" (with quotes) in the entry box
    3. Click the Submit button

! (exclamation point)

You can use "!" to narrow the search to a precise term.

  • Find works by A. Peters (but not A.G. Peters, A.H.M. Peters ...)
    1. Select the Name (Exact) index
    2. Type peters a! in the entry box
    3. Click the Submit button

Limiters

You can narrow your search with limiters.

Screen shot of Language box
  • Find works by Alice Munro published in French
    1. Select the Name (Exact) or the Name Keyword index
    2. Type munro alice in the entry box
    3. Select French in the Language box
    4. Click the Submit button
Screen shot of Date

You can also use multiple limiters. Be careful with multiple limiters as your search can be slow.

  • Find works by Alice Munro published before 1991 in French.
    Repeat steps 1 to 3 above and then complete the steps below.
    1. Select < (the before symbol) beside the Date box
    2. Type 1991 in the Date box
    3. Click the Submit button
TIP To find items in a range use the number sign (#); for example, use 199# to find works published in the 1990s.

For additional limiters, registered users can use the Options screen or Command Search. For two or more values for the same limiter use the Command Search screen. You cannot: a) browse an index with limiters and b) search by a limiter alone.

Broadening a Search

You can broaden a search that finds too few records. For example, you can broaden a search on budgies to also find parakeets.

OR

You can use "OR" to broaden your search to find items that include either one term or another. Use keyword indexes for faster results.

Screen shot of Operator box
  • Find items with budgies or parakeets in the title
    1. Select the Advanced Search screen
    2. Select the Title Keyword index
    3. Type budgies in the entry box
    4. Select the OR operator
    5. Select the Title Keyword index in the second index box
    6. Type parakeets in the entry box
    7. Click the Submit button

Wildcards: ? (question mark) or # (number sign)

You can broaden your search with two wildcards "?" or "#".

Use the "?" to replace zero or more characters. Never start a term with "?".

  • Find names containing neighbor or neighbour.
    1. Select the Name Keyword index
    2. Type neighb?r in the entry box
    3. Click the Submit button

Use the "#" to replace a single character; multiple "#" replace multiple characters. Never start a term with "#".

  • Find names containing the words Ethiopian or Éthiopien (French form)
    1. Select the Name Keyword index
    2. Type ethiopi#n in the entry box
    3. Click the Submit button

Command Searching
(registration required)

In addition tothe Basic and Advanced search screens AMICUS provides a third search screen. The Command Search screen allows you to type coded commands instead of using menus. You can use Command Search for searches too complicated for the Advanced Search screen.

Screen shot of Command search
  • Find works by Alice Munro published in French before 1991.
    1. Select the Command Search command from the Basic or Advanced Search screens.
    2. Type the coded search statement in the entry box. In this example you would type na munro alice and lan fre and date < 1991. For help with the codes, click the Index List command.
    3. Click the Submit button.

Using References & Authorities

AMICUS shows references and authorities as you browse the indexes for names, titles and subjects.

Screen shot of Authorities & References

References

References link related headings in the index. For example, the name Library and Archives Canada has a reference to its French name Bibliothèque nationale du Canada. References enable you to find an author by a pseudonym and to find a government body that has changed its name.

  • Find the French name for the Library and Archives Canada
    1. Browse the names index for the Library and Archives Canada
    2. Click the References button under the heading
    3. The References screen shows the related headings
    4. Click Bibliothèque nationale du Canada to see the records attached

References are two-way links. For example, from the English name you are referred to the French name and from the French name you are referred to the English name.

Authorities (registration required)

Authorities provide detailed information about name, titles and subject headings.

  • Find details about the name Library and Archives Canada
    1. Browse the names index for the Library and Archives Canada
    2. Click the Authorities button under the heading
    3. The Authority screen displays details about the name, such as when the name was established, what was the prior form of the name and references to related names

You can switch the display of the authority to the MAchine Readable Cataloguing format by clicking the MARC button.

To display the bibliographic records for the name click the Bibliographic Records button. You can also save the authority by selecting the Save button.

Help Contents