Search Tips

The search is a simple form that lets you search for both descriptive information and metadata, such as title words, author/creator names and subject keywords, as well as the text content of books and other documents, where available. Search terms are not case or accent-sensitive: "Français" and "francais" will produce the same result.

For even finer control, use the following features within the search box:

  • Wildcards: ? and *

    Use ? in the middle or at the end of a word to match any one character. Use * to match any number of characters (including zero). For example, to find either "defence" or "defense": defen?e To find either "labour" or "labor": labo*r

  • Phrases: ""

    To search for an exact phrase, enclose all of the words in double quotes. You cannot use wildcards within a phrase. For example, to find documents that contain the phrase "quebec city" and not just the individual terms "quebec" and "city": "quebec city"

  • Excluded term: -

    Use - in front of a word or phrase to indicate that the term must not appear in the record. For example, to find documents that contain "paris" but not "france": paris -france

  • Alternate terms: |

    To match any one of a number of alternative terms, put a | between them. For example, to find "ontario" and either "york" or "toronto": ontario york | toronto

  • Field search: ti:, au:, su:

    Use ti: in front of a word or phrase to search only document titles. Use au: and su: to do the same for author/creator names and subject headings/keywords. For example: to find documents that contain "vancouver" in the title: ti:vancouver