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Banner: AMICUS
Canadian National Catalogue
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Z39.50 Search
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Basic Search
Advanced Search
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To search AMICUS, you must select a database. For most AMICUS databases you need to register for a username and password. You can use the "LAC" database without registering.

Here are a few AMICUS search tips. For more configuration information, see the Z39.50 Guide.

  Tips for Searching AMICUS
Uppercase / lowercase Most search terms can be entered in upper or lower case. Enter codes (e.g. language) in lowercase and library symbols in UPPERCASE.
Truncation If truncation is set to 1 (right truncation) on your Z39.50 client, do not include the "?" in the search term. Tip: Set the truncation to 101 (truncation anywhere in term) to use wildcards in your search term. The wildcard "#" represents a single character; the question mark "?" represents 0 or more characters.
Punctuation Punctuation in a term is ignored except in subject subdivisions.
Names For personal names enter the surname and then the forename. Example: Author= munro alice. Enter corporate names in natural order. Example: Author= John Mills Consulting. If you are unsure of the word order in a name, try a Boolean search by name keywords.
Titles Exclude initial articles. Example: Title= magus (not The magus)
Subjects Use two hyphens before subdivisions. Example: Subject= jazz--brazil
Boolean searching You can combine two or more terms with a Boolean operator to broaden or narrow a search. As AMICUS is a large database use care in broadening; avoid general terms (such as "canada") and prefer keyword phrases to single keywords.
Narrowing a Search You can narrow a search with the attributes below; never search by them on their own.
  • Date (of publication)
    Set the Structure attribute to "year" and the Relation attribute to an appropriate value such as "equal" or "less than".
  • Geographic area
    Enter the coded values for the place in lowercase. Examples: Use "n" for North America, "n-cn" for Canada, "n-cn-on" for Ontario
  • Holdings library symbols
    Enter the symbol in UPPERCASE. For a list of symbols see the ILL Directory. Example: Use BVAU for the University of British Columbia
  • Language
    Enter in lowercase one or more language codes. Example: To find French works by an author, use fre. For a complete list of codes see MARC 21.
Keywords AMICUS supports keyword searching of authors, names, titles, subjects, notes, publisher names. To search by keyword set the following attributes:
  • Position = any position in field
  • Completeness = incomplete subfield
  • Structure = phrase OR single word
  • You may combine keywords and exact terms in a query. Example: To find "The call of the wild" by Jack London you could enter the title keywords " " and "wild" and name exact "london jack"
Stopwords AMICUS does not use stopwords. To find "Lord of the rings", you would search for "lord of the rings" in either exact or keyword searches.
Character set Search terms are assumed to use the ANSEL character set. AMICUS ignores diacritics in searching; other non-ASCII characters in the ANSEL character set are converted to ASCII equivalents for searching. The character conversion rules are identical for processing the search term and for generating AMICUS indexes.

BIB-1 Use Attributes and their AMICUS equivalents

Important: The shaded areas represent secondary indexes (limiters) that must be used with a primary index. When constructing a search, type the primary index before using a secondary index (limiter) otherwise an "Unsupported query" error will occur.

Use Attribute AMICUS command Definition Related MARC tags
4 - Title TI (position attribute set to 1 "first in field") Word or phrase identifying the item or a work contained in it. Exclude articles beginning a title. Example: For The Magus use magus 130, 210, 212, 222, 240 to 247, 400$t, 410$t, 411$t, 440, 700$t, 710$t, 711$t, 730, 740, 800$t, 810$t, 811$t, 830
TW (position attribute set to 3 "any") Title keyword in AMICUS
7 - ISBN BN International Standard Book Number 020
8 - ISSN SN International Standard Serial Number 022
9 - LC control no. LN Library of Congress control number 010
13 - Dewey classification DC Dewey Decimal Classification number 082
14 - UDC classification UC Universal Decimal Classification number 080
16 - LC call number LC Library of Congress call number 050, 051, 055
17 - NLM call number MC National Library of Medicine call number 060
21 - Subject heading SU (position attribute set to 1 "first in field") Topic on which a work is focused. 600, 610, 611, 630, 650 to 658, 752, 754, 755
SW (position attribute set to 3 "Any") Subject Keyword
31 - Date of publication DAT Date the item was published 008/07-10
47 - Subject subdivision SDV Extension to a subject heading indicating the form, place, time period or other aspect All subject subfields except for $a
48 - No. national biblio. CA Character string that uniquely identifies a record in a national bibliography; at the Library and Archives Canada it refers to the Canadiana number 016
51 - No. music publisher PN Number assigned by a publisher to a sound recording or printed music 028
52 - Number db AN AMICUS database number 001
54 - Code-language LAN Language of the item 008/35-37
55 - Code-geographic area GEO Geographic area appearing or implied in the headings assigned to the item during cataloguing 043
56 - Code-institution ILL Symbol for the library with the item, also known as the ILL symbol. Example: OONL is the symbol for Library and Archives Canada. 852$a
59 - Place-publication CTY MARC code for the country, state or province where the item was published 008/15-17
60 - CODEN CD Six-character alphanumeric code assigned by Chemical Abstracts Service. 030
61 - Microform generation MFG Code specifying the generation of a microform 007/11
63 - Note NT Statement in which information such as extended physical descriptions, relationships or contents may be recorded. 018, 033, 034, 037, 250, 254 to 257, 260, 261, 265, 300, 306, 308, 310, 315, 321, 340, 350, 351, 355, 357, 359, 362, 490, 500 to 590, 753, 856
1001 - Record type MAT Material Type Leader/06
1003 - Author NA Name of a person, corporate body, conference or meeting 100, 110, 111, 400, 410, 411, 700, 710, 711, 800, 810, 811
NW Name Keyword
1004 - Author - name personal NP Personal name, pseudonym, title of nobility, nickname or initials 100, 400, 700, 800
1005 - Author - name corporate NC Organization or a group of persons that is identified by a particular name 110, 410, 710, 810
1006 - Author - name conference NM Meeting of individuals or representatives of various bodies for the purpose of discussing topics of common interest 111, 411, 711, 811
1011 - Date/time added to db DEF Date and time that a record was added to the database 008/00-05
1012 - Date/time last modified TDT Date and time a record was last updated 005
1016 - Any AW Any keyword Applies to name, title, subject headings and notes
1018 - Publisher PW Organization responsible for the publication of the item 260$b
1021 - Bib-level BIB Single alphabetic character identifying the bibliographic level. Example: monograph Leader/07