What happened to browse or 'Starts with...' searches

The new catalogue does not have browse or 'Starts with..' searches. Bibliocommons has not included browse searching as their research indicates people used browse searching because traditional catalogues too often returned irrelevant results from a keyword search.

"Smart search" in the new catalogue returns more relevant results than our previous catalogue. Search results are ordered based on the best match. The items at the top of the search results will be those that contain your exact search text, in the exact order you typed them (if you used more than one word). After exact matches, words in the title are given a priority, followed by author name, headings, and tags. Popular titles will be appear ahead of less popular ones. 

There also some other options in addition to keyword searching: auto-suggest and custom queries.


  • it is possible to browse author or subject terms using 'auto-suggest' in the new catalogue.
  • from the drop down menu next to the search box choose 'author' or 'subject'
  • begin to type your term and hesitate...and watch suggested terms appear


Call number search:

  • it is possible to search for call numbers using the Advanced search
  •  enter ca: and a call number or part of a call number followed by an asterix in the 'custom query' box (see screenshot below)
  • if there is a space in the call number, use quotes. Eg, ca:"193 w*"
  • results cannot be sorted by call number order at this time

Other custom queries:

Suggest improvements:

  • we have asked Bibliocommons to provide an option for browse searching. If you have a specific example of  not being able to find what you wanted because browse searching was not available, please submit it via the form at the bottom of the page (when you are logged in).