Online catalogue guide

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The screen layout>

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The online catalogue screen is divided into two halves. The upper half of the screen contains the toolbar for managing the live session and performing searches. The lower half of the screen comprises the working area and displays the options available to you.


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This function allows you to submit queries by entering one or more words and to browse the alphabetical lists of the catalogue (by author, title, etc.).

The maximum number of retrievable records is 20,000.

You can search for information in three ways: Basic search, Advanced search, Alphabetical search.

Basic search

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This option is proposed automatically on accessing the catalogue. You can find records by entering one or more words, either in all fields or in one particular field by selecting the area of interest from the drop-down menu (title, author, etc.).

Words can be combined by inserting the logical operators AND, OR and NOT. Unless otherwise specified, search terms will be automatically linked with the implicit operator AND. By activating the Adjacent words option the terms will be searched for in the exact order in which they were entered (for example, by typing monetary policy the system will retrieve only the records that contain the word policy beside the word monetary).
When this option is active you should never use the truncation character ?.

Advanced search

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This option allows you to perform a combined search of one or more fields selected from the drop-down menu.

The relationship between these fields is managed by the logical operators AND, OR and NOT.

The system will display the combined results of the selected fields.

Alphabetical search

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This option is very similar to traditional card catalogue searches and allows you to view lists in alphabetical order, which you can then scroll down in order to select the desired item. The scrolling list displays the records associated with each item. By clicking on one of the list headings, you can view the associated records in summary format.

Seach hints

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Below are a number of useful tips for performing a successful search.

Definite articles

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In the Alphabetical search mode definite articles at the beginning of titles are omitted. For example if you want to search in the Title index for The Wealth of Nations, you should enter wealth of nations.

Truncations and other characters

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When necessary, it is advisable to use the ? character to:

  • Mask parts of a word. For example, bank? will retrieve bank, banks, banking, banker, bankers, etc.; ?ology will retrieve anthropology, archaeology, psychology, etc.
  • Identify variant spellings. For example, lab?r will find both the US and UK spellings of labor and labour respectively.

The ? character can be placed at the beginning, end, or middle of a word, but should never be used twice in any one word.

The asterisk * may be used as an alternative truncation character to ?.

The % symbol, followed by a number, can be placed between two words to indicate their proximity, irrespective of the order in which they appear. For example, england %3 ballads will find Ballads of England, Ballads of Merry Olde England and England and Her Ballads.

The ! character, followed by a number, can be placed between two words to indicate that these should appear within a certain distance from one another and in the same order in which they were entered. In this case, ballads !3 england will find Ballads of England and Ballads of Merry Olde England but not England and Her Ballads.

Do not insert punctuation marks in the search string. In particular, initials, acronyms or abbreviations should be entered without full stops (for example type BCE and not B.C.E. ).

Entering characters with accents will also find the corresponding unaccented characters and vice versa.

Entering compound words without hyphens or spaces will also retrieve words separated by a hyphen and vice versa (fer example socioeconom? will also find socio-econom? and vice versa but NOT socio econom?). Therefore only the search string: socieconom? OR (socio AND econom? ) will enable all the possible variants to be recovered.

The hyphen and greater than symbols -> can be placed between two numerical terms. This search is particularly effective for limiting a set of records by year of publication. For example: 2002 -> 2007

Logical operators

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You can use the logical operators AND, OR and NOT to combine several words in one search string. Unless otherwise specified, search terms will be automatically linked by the implicit operator AND.

The operators can be typed in English or expressed by using any one of the following conventions:

  • AND = + (plus sign)
  • AND = & (ampersand)
  • OR = | (pipe sign)
  • NOT = ~ (tilde)

Uppercase and lowercase

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Words typed in lowercase will also retrieve words with capital letters and vice versa. For example, economy will retrieve economy, Economy and ECONOMY.

Working with the results

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Basic or advanced searches can generate:

  • a list of results in summary form
  • a system message signalling the search has not produced any results
  • a system message communicating that there's an error in the search criteria

The list of results in summary form may be viewed by clicking on a live heading link in the scrollable list, open in the Alphabetical search mode, or by clicking on a heading when the record is being displayed in the Standard format view.

By clicking on the Record no. button you can jump directly to the number of the requested record.

The list of results is displayed automatically in descending chronological order. To change the order click on the column headings (author, title, year); for example by clicking on the column Author the records will be displayed in alphabetical order by author.

A single record in summary form can be opened from the list of results by simply clicking on the number of records or on Title. To check the availability of copies of the document in the Library you can click directly on the options in the Holdings column.

Once you have selected all the records of interest, it is possible to view them by clicking on: Select/Deselect/View selection, Save , Create subset, Refine, Previous searches, Add to my e-shelf

Select, Deselect, View selection

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You must select one or more records from the list of results before you can proceed to the View selection, Create subset, and Add to my e-shelf operations. If you don't complete this first step the system will show an error message.

To select one or more records click on the dedicated box beside the number of records. If you wish to select all the records from the list of results, choose Select all.

To modify your selection, you can deselect individual records by clicking on the dedicated box beside the number of records. To delete the entire selection click on Deselect.

Once you have selected all the records that interest you, it is possible to view them by clicking on View selection.


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The system allows you to save the records you have selected.

You can continue to make further selections after activating the Save function: this screen allows users to choose whether to save all the records, only those previously selected from the results list, or a range of records (for example from No. 8 to No. 10).

The Save screen allows you to choose the format in which to save the data. It is advisable to save the data in card format.

The MARC and Aleph sequential field formats are specific to the requirements of other libraries. To encode data it is advised you leave the ASCII default, except in order to meet particular requirements.

To save the file on your own computer, simply click on the Go button.

The system will ask you to confirm you want to save the data. In the dialogue box it is possible to decide whether to save the file directly or open it with a text editor (for example Word) before saving it.

Create subset

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If you do not wish to view all the records or want to view only the ones that have been selected, you should click on the Create subset button on the menu toolbar.

It is possible to perform the same operations available for the entire results list for each subset, including the creation of another more limited subset to further refine your search results.


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This option allows you to Refine your search by adding a further criterion to the previous search string. After having selected one of the logical operators, you can choose a field from the drop-down menu and insert a different search term. The new list of results will be the combination of all the search criteria used.

Previous searches

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This function retrieves the list of searches made in the session and lets you

  • select a set and view the list of records retrieved
  • narrow or broaden a search by combining the set with the Match function
  • delete a set from the list

Add to my e-shelf

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This option enables you to temporarily save the records selected during all the searches performed in the course of one working session.

By clicking My e-shelf in the menu toolbar you can retrieve all the records selected during the session.


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By clicking on Holdings from the list of results or from the standard format view of each document, you can access information on copies in the Library's collection.

The Copy status indicates if the document is available (for example if it may be borrowed, consulted, is currently being catalogued etc.) or not (for example, if it has been ordered, lost etc). The Available after column indicates the date on which the book will be newly available.

Location indicates the exact location of a book in stacks or a reading room. Information on the book's location is vital in order to correctly complete the request slips for documents.

The Barcode is a unique code applied to every material item in the library to facilitate the administrative operations connected with its circulation (for example loans).

Viewing results

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List of results

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This option allows you to view the key data on a publication (author, title, year of publication, type of publication, etc); the information is automatically displayed in descending chronological order. By clicking on the column headings (author, title, year) you can modify the order; for example by clicking on the column Author you will obtain the records ordered alphabetically by author.

The list of results allows you to switch to viewing the complete records by clicking on the sequence number of the records listed.

Complete record (Full view of record)

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When the Complete record is displayed there are various format options available: standard, catalogue card format, MARC fields and name tags.

This is the standard format used because it enables you to browse through the catalogue.

From the complete record screen it also possible to Save and/or Add to my e-shelf.

Standard format

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This offers additional navigational tools with respect to the complete record screen formats. By clicking on the links in any one record, you can retrieve all related records (for example series of volumes, translations, editions printed on other media and information on the copies held).

Catalogue card format

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This format shows the record data in the traditional catalogue paper-based card format. The syntax conforms with the International Standard for Bibliographic Description (ISBD). These fields do not allow you to browse the rest of the catalogue.

MARC fields and name tag format

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UNIMARC is the standard bibliographic format for catalogue records. It comprises fields or tags identified by a numeric sequence and subfields preceded by an alphabetic label. This representation of the data is the most useful for the needs of libraries.

The Tag names format is similar to the previous one. Unlike the MARC tags the fields and subfields are written out in full.

Neither of these formats allow you to browse the rest of the catalogue.

Citation format

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This format comprises fields you can use to compile bibliographies; they do not allow you to browse the rest of the catalogue.

Managing the session

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This option allows you to return to the first page of the Bank of Italy Library website.


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This option lets you select the catalogue interface language.


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This option lets you adjust the screen display settings. For example, you can fix the number of records contained in a page of the results list, the maximum number of records automatically displayed in the complete view format and the format in which they will be displayed.

End session

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Clicking on End session in the menu toolbar will delete all the work in a given session. The records in Previous searches and in My e-shelf will also be deleted.

Technical requirements

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Browser requirement

To browse and consult the catalogue effectively, you need a Web browser (Internet Explorer 5.x or higher; Netscape 6.2 or higher), configured to support Unicode.

Unicode allows you to display a large range of alphabets, diacritics and special characters.

To set the browser character encoding:

  • Internet Explorer: from the View menu, select Encoding , then click on Unicode (UTF-8).
  • Netscape: from the View menu, select Codify character, then Auto-detect, then All [for Netscape 6.x] or Universal [for Netscape 7.x].

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