How to use our Online Catalogue (OPAC)
There are various approaches to searching the online catalogue. These
are seen in the left hand menu:
- Basic search
- Advanced Search
- Multi-Field Search
This option will allow you to search quickly. Enter
search words into the ‘Type Words or Phrase’ box
and then click on ‘Submit’. It is possible
to limit a basic search by using the drop down menu of the ‘Select
search by’ field. This will allow you to limit the search
to an item’s author, title, publisher, ISBN, etc.
Although a basic search is a fast and easy method of searching
the catalogue, it is also inefficient and you are likely to
find a large number of unwanted hits in your results list. To
avoid this you could use the advanced and multi field search
options, also found in the left hand menu of the catalogue.
Advanced and multi-field searches are more efficient because
they offer greater scope for refining your search. You can
search using one or more fields, e.g. ‘author’ and ‘title’,
or ‘author’, ‘publisher’ and ‘year’. By
narrowing the scope of your search in this way, your results
list will be more relevant.
- Click on the Advanced Search option from the left hand menu.
- Enter your search words in the appropriate fields.
- If you have entered more than one search term in a field, you can chose to only search for them as a phrase by selecting the ‘Yes’ button of the ‘Words adjacent?’ field.
- It is possible to limit your search to material of a particular format (e.g. journal, thesis) using the drop down menu of the ‘Base to search’ field.
- Click on ‘Go’
- In the drop down menu under ‘Select field to search,’ chose a field to search, e.g. title, author, series, etc.
- Enter a search term under ‘Type words or phrase’.
- If you have typed more than one word, you can chose whether only records with these words together should be returned. If you wish to search for a phrase (i.e. words adjacent) highlight the ‘yes’ button.
- You can chose to search up to three fields in one go.
- To search, click on ‘Go’.
To start a new search, click on any of the search options
in the left hand menu.
When you have found the item you require:
- Click in the right hand column entitled ‘Library’.
The part you need to click on will look like this Courtauld
Institute of Art (1/0). The numbers in brackets
tell you, firstly, how many copies we have and, secondly,
how many are on loan.
- Once you have selected this heading, you will see a table.
There is the ‘Collection’ column,
if it is blank, says Exhibition Catalogues or Periodicals
the book is available on the open shelves. If it says Special
Collections, Pamphlet, CABS, Theses or Short Loan Coll you
will need to go the library issue/enquiry desk.
- The ‘Classmark’ column tells you where the item is on the shelves. The ‘Status’ column tells you if the item is Reference Only, One Week Loan or Short Loan. The ‘Due Date’ column tells you if the item is On Shelf or the date it is due back. If the item is on loan and you would like to request it, click on ‘Request’ in the first column of the table, if it is a short loan item it will say ‘Booking’
- If you search for a journal, you will find a ‘Holdings
Summary’ indicating what issues of that
journal the library has in stock. In a table below, you
may find information on recent issues received by the Library.
- The same information can also be found if you click on the title of the book when you find it and then click on the ‘Where’ section in the book’s full record.
Browse indexes will take you to complete alphabetical lists
of book and journal titles, authors’ names, corporations
(including museums), subjects, etc. They are useful ways of
finding everything written by an author, all catalogues for
a museum, or everything indexed on a given subject. Enter enough
information to enter the index at a convenient point and you
can then scan up or down and click on an underlined entry below
to see the matching catalogue entries. Note that forms of names
and subject terms are entered according to a standard form,
which may be different from the way they appear in the book
This is the display of any records resulting from your latest
search of the catalogue during your current session.
This option will allow you to view the the number of matching
results of previous searches you have made during a session.
From there you have the option to combine two search requests in order to narrow down your search.
Your previous searches are lost every time you restart the
When you click on Login you will be asked to input your barcode
number and PIN. Your barcode number can be found underneath
the barcode on your Courtauld student card. For new students
your PIN is your student ID number. To change it to something
easy for you to remember please see a member of staff at the
If your Login is successful, you will be notified in a strip
across the top of the next screen. From this screen you
will be able to undertake searches of the catalogue and save
search details (see e-shelf).
You can also access your account details by clicking on the Account details button. This allows you to see the books you currently have out, the books you have borrowed in the past, any books you have currently on reservation and any short loan bookings you have made.
From Currently borrowed books, you can renew
your books. To do this, select the items which you wish
to renew (by ticking the adjacent box) and then click on Renew
selected. If for any reason, a renewal is not
possible (for instance, if the item has been reserved by another
reader), the system will alert you.
Remember at the end of each session to log out. Click on Logout at the top of the Quicklinks menu.
This is where you can save records you found and build a ‘bibliography.’
From your results’ list tick the records you need and
click the button ‘Add to my e-shelf.’ The
records will then be saved for the duration of your session.
If you have logged in you can create folders and save desired
results to different folders. These will be deleted when your
account with the library expires.
From ‘My e-shelf’ you can then manage your records or folders.