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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

Library Search

Search Help

What am I searching?

search box screen snap

As you type a query in the Simple Search box, you can choose one of four options (which we call SCOPES in this guide) from the dropdown menu that appears.  On the Advanced Search form, these options appear as radio buttons across the top. Here's what they contain:

  • Everything: Most of the resources available from the UT Libraries. This is the default search which combines the Library Catalog and the Articles & More options.
  • Library Catalog: Everything in the University Libraries' physical and electronic collections (books, e-books, journals and periodicals, media, music, maps and more, plus content in Texas ScholarWorks, our institutional repository), plus the collections of the Harry Ransom Center and the Briscoe Center for American History.  (Tarlton Law Library holdings are not reflected in this system.  Search for Law materials in the Tallons catalog.)
  • Articles & More: Full text articles, e-book chapters, and other content available through UT Libraries.
  • Course Materials: Physical and electronic materials currently designated by instructors for UT courses. Search by keyword, course number, or instructor name.

Refining Results

The Search system allows you to refine your results after running a search, to focus on specific types and segments, or to narrow large results sets. You can apply one or more of the following filters (or exclude them).

  • Show Only - select Available Online or Physical Copy.
  • Resource Type* - the format of the information, e.g. Book, Journal, Article, Chapter, Video, Map, Dissertation, Conference, etc.  The available selections depend on the composition of your results and which scope you're searching.
  • Creation Date* - enter a publication date range.
  • Library - select one or more library entities for physical copies of materials.
  • Library Location - this lists a larger subset of locations within the above Library facet; it's more granular down to the actual location level (e.g. reference, reserves, oversize, etc.). These entries will make more sense if you select a Library filter first.
  • Subject** (heading) - a selection of topical headings applied to records in the results.  This means controlled vocabulary terms, not topics in general.  It's not comprehensive or consistent across all records you may find, and some records lack subject headings entirely.
  • Author/Creator**
  • Language*
  • New Records - limit to records added to the database within the last week, month, or three months.

* Filters marked with an * (asterisk) above are also available as pre-search limits using the Advanced Search form. 

** Author/Creator and Subject heading are available as specific search fields in the Advanced Search form.

Applying Multiple Filters and Excluding Filters
  • When you hover your cursor over a filter, a checkbox appears to the left.  Click it, and then repeat to add other filters.  When you're done, click Apply Filters at the bottom of the column.  You can remove selected filters later if you want. 
  • To exclude results based on a filter, click the red Exclude button that appears to the right of the filter name when you mouse over it. 
  • Filters can be saved within your search session, or cleared at any time.

More Information

Visit the Troubleshooting guide to updated details on what we're working on and known bugs in the system.

Ex Libris Documentation

Our Library Search interface is powered by the Primo VE system from Ex Libris.  Here are some links to their documentation.  Note that not all of the features they describe are available or activated in our version, and that the generic screens and labels may be different from ours. 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Generic License.