Help for the search functions

Basic search

If your search terms are separated only by spaces, the search results will be the same as when using the AND operator; i.e. the search results will contain all the search words you have entered.

For example, carl bach produces the same search results as carl AND bach.

You can pre-define your search by selecting All fields, Title, Author or Subject from the drop-down menu.

Narrowing your search

You can use the Narrow search menu to focus your search to e.g. a certain format (book, recording, video etc.), target group or language.

You can narrow your search results by selecting several criteria at the same time. Different criteria will act as an AND search, i.e. the search results must fulfill all of them. However, criteria selected under the same heading will act as an OR search. For example, selecting DVD and BluRay under Content type will search for both of them.

The menus display the search terms in descending order or results they will produce.

Filter by year or use the timeline tool

You can specify the year(s) of production by entering a range of years or using the visual timeline tool.

By clicking on the arrow, you can display the locations or formats (e.g. compilation, archive series, DVD) of a lower hierarchical level.

You can delete criteria under the Narrow search menu.

Retain filters

This feature retains your filters for new searches. You can enable this function if you wish to carry out a new search with the same criteria.

Advanced search

Search fields

The Advanced search page has several search fields in which you can enter search terms and phrases, and use various search operators.

Adjacent to each search field is a drop-down menu which allows you to select the field of the relevant record (all fields, title, author, etc.). If necessary, you can target your search to several fields by using several search terms.

Match drop-down

The Match dropdown menu defines how to handle a query with several search fields:

  • With all these (AND) — Searches for records that match the content of all search fields.
  • With any of these (OR) — Searches for records that match the content of one or more search fields.
  • With none of these (NOT) — Searches for records which do not feature the content of any of the search fields.

Add search field allows you to add a new search field to the form.

Add search group allows you to add search fields for a new group.

Remove search group allows you to delete groups.

To define the relationships between search groups, use the ALL groups (AND) and ANY groups (OR) search operators.

The below example concerning the history of India or China can be implemented with search groups as follows:

  • Add the terms "India" and "China" to the search fields of the first search group, and define the relationship between the search fields by selecting With any of these (OR) from the Match drop-down menu.
  • Create a new search group and add the term "history" to its search field. Define the relationship between search groups as ALL groups (AND).

Logical search operators

You can combine terms into complex queries with Boolean operators. The following operators can be used: AND, OR, NOT and !-.

NB! Boolean operators must be typed in CAPITAL LETTERS.


AND the conjunction operator, is the system’s default operator for multi-term queries that do not include an operator. When using the AND operator, the records included in the search results feature each of the terms in the search fields.

For example, to search for records that include "tea" and "coffee" (both searches will produce the same results):

tea coffee
tea AND coffee


The OR operator links two terms and finds a matching record if either of the terms exist in a record.

To search for documents that contain either "tea" or "coffee" or both, use the query:

tea OR coffee

NOT and !-

The NOT and "!-" operators exclude records that contain the term following them. The difference is that !- will only exclude the term it is connected to, whereas NOT can also be used with phrases and parenteses.

To search for documents that contain "tea" but not "coffee" use either query:

tea NOT coffee
tea !-coffee

Note: These operators cannot be used with just one term. For example, the following search will return no results:


Note: If the term begins with the !-operator, it can be included by using the backslash (\). For example: to search for !-coffee use the query:


Phrase searches

You can search for an exact phrase by putting your search terms in quotation marks.

For example, you can search for records which include the phrase "country blues", as opposed to both "country" and "blues" as separate terms.

"country blues"

You can also use phrase search for single words. Your search will then produce an exact match to your search term without any other conjugations.

Wildcard characters

? replaces one character in your search term.

For example, the terms "text" and "test" can be searched for using the same query:


* replaces 0, 1 or more characters in a search term.

For example, the terms "test", "tests" and "tester" can be searched for using the query:


You can also use the asterisk in the middle of a search term:


NB! The wildcards ? and * cannot replace the first character in a search term.

Fuzzy searches

A fuzzy search generates results in which words similar to the actual search word also appear.

~ carries out a fuzzy search when used as the last character in a single-term search.

For example, a fuzzy search for the term "roam":


This search finds such terms as "foam" and "roams". The similarity of the search to the original term can be regulated with a parameter between zero and one. For example:


The closer the value is to one, the more similar the term will be to the original term. The default value of the parameter is 0.5 if it is not separately defined for a fuzzy search.

Proximity searches

Proximity searches look for documents in which the search terms are within a specified distance, but not necessarily one after the other.

~ performs a proximity search at the end of a multi-term search when combined with a proximity value.

For example, to search for the terms "economics" and "Keynes" when they appear within a distance of no more than ten terms from each other:

"economics Keynes"~10

Range searches

Range searches can be conducted using either curvy brackets { } or square brackets [ ]. When using curvy brackets, the search takes into account only the values between the terms entered, excluding the terms themselves. Square brackets, in contrast, also include the terms entered in the range searched for.

For example, to search for a term that begins with the letter B or C using the query:

{A TO D}

For example, to search for the values 2002–2003:

[2002 TO 2003]

NB! The word TO between the values must be typed in CAPITAL LETTERS.

Weighted search terms

^ assigns a weight to the search term in a query.

For example, to assign added weight to the search term "Keynes":

economics Keynes^5