Search Tips

Personal author

  • This is the best way to search for a particular book as only some titles are listed.
  • Type in the surname first, followed by a comma, then a space, then the initial or first name. For example:
    • Smith, R
    • Smith, Robert
  • Note that if there are biographies or criticisms, these will be listed first before the works by the author. For example:
    • White, Patrick -- Works about
    • White, Patrick -- Works by
  • For books with 3 authors or less you will be able to find an entry under each author. If there are more than 3 authors of a book, you will only be able to find the first author listed.

Corporate author

  • Government bodies are considered to be the authors of official publications.
  • If you are looking for a government organisation, type in the name of the country or state, followed by a full stop, then a space, followed by the name of the department. For example:
    • Australia. Department of Commerce
    • New South Wales. Parliament. Legislative Assembly
  • Note that works about a country or state are followed by works by that country or state.
  • Companies and societies can also be corporate authors. For example:
    • Broken Hill Proprietary Co. Ltd.
    • Institution of Civil Engineers


  • Only some titles are listed.
  • Titles are listed when the author is anonymous or if the book was published in a series.


  • The headings for subjects can be very specific and may differ from other library catalogues.
  • If you are looking for a subject, type it in and then scroll down.
  • There are many SEE and SEE ALSO references which will direct you to other headings to try.
  • Subjects for the arts are listed by nationality and broad subject areas. For example:
    • French Poetry
    • Australian Drama
    • Vietnamese Language

Subject subheadings

  • When searching for a subject with a subheading, for example, Italy -- History, always use a space before and after the two dashes.
  • It is best to start a search with the name of the country or the general subject so that you can see the list of possible subheadings.
  • Many topics as well as countries and states are broken into specific subject subheadings. For example:
    • Artists -- Dictionaries and Encyclopaedias
    • Great Britain -- History
    • New South Wales -- Commerce
    • New South Wales -- Commissions (used for Royal Commissions)
  • In the same way, subject areas can be divided by geographic areas. For example:
    • Law Reports -- Australia
    • Costume -- Burma

Please ask for further assistance at the Information Desk.