AND, OR, NOT allow you to limit or expand searches depending on your needs.
Wagner AND Friedrich (romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich)
piano OR klavier
Schumann NOT Elisabeth (early 20th century lyric soprano)
An important strategy to employ when searching phrasal concepts or conducting known-item searches for titles:
- For example, Album for the Young will search for Album AND for AND the AND Young.
- However, "Album for the Young" in quotation marks will search for the Schumann composition.
When pairing two or more keywords with another keyword, it is helfpul to "nest" the former terms within a larger Boolean search.
- For example, Chopin AND (Sand OR Dupin OR Dudevant) will return results for Chopin and his partner, Amandine Aurore Lucille Dupin (aka, George Sand and the Baroness Dudevant).
- Many catalogs or databases will have an "advanced search" option, which provides multiple search bars to facilitate nested searching.
Truncation and Wildcards:
Most catalogs and databases enable users to search variations of keywords by using truncation (*) or wildcard (e.g., ?, $, !) symbols.
- For example, one could search for romantic* to find romantic, romanticism, romanticize, and so on.
- Wildcard searching works similarly: a search for mu??k would return musik (Ger), muzak, and so on.
- Combining the two, viol?n* would return violin, violinist, violon (Fr), violoniste (Fr), violino (It), and so on.