Rensselaer Libraries

Searching the Library Catalog

Posted: Jul 20, 2009

What Is The Catalog?

A database containing most of the materials the Rensselaer Libraries own or have on order. Includes books, journals, documents, phonorecords, audio-cassettes, scores, compact discs, videos, DVDs, and software. It also includes Rensselaer theses and dissertations from 1855 to the present, and links to online subscribed electronic journals, electronic books, government documents, and reference materials. < /b> The catalog represents title level indexing, although in some cases access is provided to chapters in anthologies. If you are searching for articles in a journal or other periodical, please use one of our journal indexes.

Connect to the Catalog | Keyword Search | Author Search | Title Search
Author/Title Search | Limit Search | Call Number Search

How Do I Connect To The Catalog?

  • From the RensSearch gateway, use the Quick Search feature to search by author or title.

  • Or go to the following URL:

Keyword & Advanced Keyword Search --- to search words in the subject headings, title, contents notes, corporate author names.
  Type in Words to search: Examples:
ADJACENCY Use quotation marks to distinguish multiple words that should be searched as a phrase. "information technology"
Use an asterisk * to truncate at the end of a word. Use a question mark ? to replace a single character. environment* polic*


(Boolean) OPERATORS Use and or or to specify multiple words in any field, any order. Use and not to exclude words. Parentheses ( ) group words together when using Boolean operators. (annotated bibliography) and child*
(alaska or canada) and (adventure and not vacation)
PROXIMITY Use near to specify words close to each other, in any order. Use within # to specify terms which occur within # words of each other in the record. California near university
america within 3 econom*
FIELDS Specify fields to search, using field abbreviation. Fields available for this database are a: (author), t: (title), s: (subject), and o: (other, including contents notes.) (a:twain) and (t:huck*)
(a:united and a:states) and (s:disabled or s:with disabilit*)

Advanced Keyword searches allow all of these search options and allow the searcher to apply limits to a search.  You may limit by year, publisher, material type, bibliographic type, and/or location.

Author Searches --- to search by name of a person or an organization.

To search by person or organization, type the author's last name first. You may also include all or part of the first name.


  • sagan
  • desai, b
  • whitaker, ann

Or, type the full name of an institution or organization.


  • heat transfer society

Title Searches --- to search by title, of book, video, journal, etc. (not for journal article titles!)

Type as much of the title as you know in exact order starting with the first title word.


  • marine algae
  • journal of ecology

Author/Title Searches --- to search by author and title simultaneously.

Type the author's last name first. It is not necessary to type the full name.

Example: sagan

You may also type the name of an organization or governmental body.


  • Association for Computing Machinery
  • United States Congress

Type as many or as few words in the title as your want.


  • Materials Science
  • Introduction to Materials Science

When you have typed information in both boxes, click on: Submit above search.

Limiting And Sorting Your Searches

*NOTE: after entering your limit/sort information, you must click on "Search "

You can LIMIT your search by: Examples


thesis, periodical

YEAR of publication

after 1990



LOCATION (where item is located)

Arch Lib Book Stacks

Words in the PUBLISHER

Oxford, Wiley

To SORT your search results by year, select Date, Alphabetical, or Relevance.

Call Number Searches

Type in the full Library of Congress call number to search for a specific book.


  • QD 33 B684 1995

Type in part of the Library of Congress call number to see a list of call number records which begin with those letters and numbers.


  • HC 60

Rensselaer Libraries Twitter Youtube Channel