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Using the Library catalogue

Find books, journals and online articles using the Library Catalogue - a guide to searching the catalogue to find what you need for study, teaching and research

What is the Library Catalogue?

  • The Catalogue allows you to search and locate the Library’s print and electronic collections. Items from our University’s research repository, Pure, are also included.
  • It will give you the information you need to locate a print item on the Library shelves and to navigate easily to the full-text of electronic resources.
  • The shelfmark used for print books is a mixture of numbers and letters. The numbers represent the subject of the book, so books at the same number are on the same subject. The letters are usually the first part of the author's name.
  • Books are arranged in shelfmark order on the relevant subject floors. As well as helping you locate useful information, the Catalogue can be used to request a reservation on books which are on loan to other people.
  • For comprehensive searches for articles in your subject area, we recommend that you use the appropriate databases listed on your Subjects pages.

The Library Catalogue is found on the Library homepage.

Why should I sign-in?

  • You can sign-in (log in) to the Catalogue using your Bath University username and password. Signing-in will ensure you have access to the widest range of resources available to you. It will also enable you to pin titles for later reference.

  • You will need to be signed-in to include search results from some databases, including Business Source Premier, SPORTDiscus and Film & Television Literature Index.

My Favorites and EndNote

  • This feature allows you to keep details of useful items or successful search terms (queries). You have the option to create new tags to help organise your results.
  • You will need to be signed in using your Bath login details to save favourites
  • While looking at a detail view of an item (a book, journal or article) you can select the Pin icon from the top right of the screen to add items to your favourites
  • Return to the catalogue search screen or results list to see to your favourites by selecting the Pin icon from the top right of the screen - next to your name.
  • Select one or more records, then select ... to see the options for sending your selected favourites to EndNote reference management software (which enables you to save results from multiple resources and to insert citations/references into your coursework).

Search options

  • The single search box allows you to enter your search terms, see your results and then refine these using the facets, or limiter options.
  • Examples of facet types include: type of material (books, journals, dissertations etc.) and creation date.
  • The advanced search boxes give you the option to enter information against criteria in the drop down options, such as 'in the title' or 'as author / creator'. When you get a list of results from an advanced search, as before, you then have the opportunity to refine your results using the available facets.

Catalogue video guides

Library staff have created some short video guides about using the Library catalogue.

Tip: quotation marks should only be used if you want items which contain that exact phrase in their full text. If you require a wider search on the topic, remove the quotation marks and you will retrieve more results.

Searching for Books

You can use the catalogue to find print and electronic library books.

  • If you are searching for resources on a particular topic, type in relevant keywords describing your topic into the search area at the top of the screen and then select Search
  • You can also use the Advanced Search options linked beside the standard search box. Advanced search lets you choose which parts of an item record (for example, author, title) to search and you can also combine terms. Additionally, you can set limiters such as publication date and type of material (for example book, article, journal) before you carry out the search.
  • For further help see the Hints for Searching see the section lower on this page.
  • If your search finds more than one book, you can select from the options or facets on the right of the screen to limit your results to specific types of materials, dates of publication, authors and more.
  • The Search results page will show the floor of the library the item is available on, and the shelfmark to locate it. You might like to refer to the guide to understanding shelf numbers.
  • Choose the Copies Available option from the list of results view to check real-time information about the loan status of the item.

{Information about borrowing and returning books can be found online](/guides/borrowing-from-the-university-library/#how-do-i-borrow-and-return-items-from-the-library).

If all the copies of a book are on loan you can place a hold to reserve a copy when it is returned to the Library. You should read the section below on Placing a Reservation for further advice.

Searching for Journals

You can use the Library catalogue to find journals held in the Library, in either print or electronic format.

Searching for online journals

  • If you know the title of the journal you are looking for, type it into the search box and select Search
  • If more than one journal is listed, select the Title link for full information to identify the specific item you want.
  • If the words Online access appear under the title of the journal, this is an E-Journal. Click on the Online access link to view the ejournal content on the publisher website.
  • OR you can select the journal title heading and check if the article you want falls within the subscription dates shown. Connect to the E-Journal website by selecting the name of the content provider for the date you need.

If the article you want was published earlier or later than the date range shown on the catalogue, you should contact library staff for advice about making an Inter-Library Loan request or searching for a similar or related article that is available online.

Searching for print journals

  • As above search for the journal title you are looking for and check the title link to confirm full details of the journal.
  • To check our holdings for print journals, select the Check availability link under the title to see whether we have the journal for the year you need.

For example, the holdings of Transactions of the ASME. Journal of heat transfer are: Vol. 81, no.1 (Feb. 1959) - vol. 129, no. 12 (Dec. 2007) which means that the Library began taking that journal in 1959 and ended the print subscription in 2007. If there was no date after the hyphen (-) that would show the Library was still subscribing to this journal in printed format.

In this example, the print journal title is available at University of Bath Level 3 PER 62

The Shelfmark (PER number) indicates the broad subject of the journal. Level 3 indicates the floor on which the journals are shelved. Use the printed floorplans on each floor or on the Library webpages to identify the general area were you can find the journal you are looking for.

Placing a Reservation

The library automatically renews borrower loans. If you want a get a book that is out on loan you must request it online. If you do not request a copy, then no-one will be asked to return a copy for you to read.

You can reserve items which are out on loan to other readers by requesting them:

  • Use the library catalogue to search for the book you want.
  • If the catalogue shows there are no copies currently available for loan, you will be able to place a reservation. (Reservations can only be placed on books when all copies are on loan or unavailable).
  • You will need to sign in to reserve a copy of a book using your Bath username and password
  • Log in with your University user name and password or library card number and PIN.
  • Click Reserve from the Requests Options menu
  • You can select a Not Needed After date from the reservation screen.
  • Then click on REQUEST to confirm the reservation
  • If the reservation is successful, the screen will display Request placed and indicate your place in the queue

You can also set an expiry date for your reservation. When the date you enter has passed the reservation will be cancelled. If the book has arrived and is waiting for you to collect, your reservation will also be cancelled after that expiry date. The item will be returned to the shelves or made available to the next person with a reservation.

If a book is listed as available but is not on the shelf, please speak to a member of library staff for advice.

Further search options, hints & tips

Use the options or facets to the right of the screen to refine and tweak your results.  You can filter by, for example, format availability (full text online, print books); resource type (conference proceedings, dissertations etc.), language and creation date.

An advanced search option can be selected above the options/facets column. The Advanced Search boxes give you the option to enter information against different search fields listed in the drop-down menu options, such as Title or Author/Creator.

When you get a list of advanced search results, again you can refine your results using the available filter options on the left of the screen to limit your results.

  • For exact phrases, use quotation marks: "climate change"
  • For truncated searches use an asterisk: for example manag* finds manages, manages, management, managed, managerial.
  • To widen a search use OR: oestrogen OR estrogen
  • To exclude a term use NOT: cats NOT dogs
  • A combination of these can be used: football OR soccer NOT american 


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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