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Searching the Library Catalog: Advanced Search: Advanced Search and Results

Advanced Search and Results

How to perform an advanced search for resources in the Online Catalog and understanding the results.

The advanced search page allows more control over the construction of your search as well as the indexes in which the search will be performed.  Advanced searching is useful when you know an author's name or the title of a work.  It is also helpful when you want to search for specific subjects or limit your results to a range of publication dates. 

Access the Advance Search Screen from the library's homepage; the link is found under the Search Library Catalog button near the top of the page.


Advance searching allows you to narrow your search to specific indexes to help limit your results.  Indexes most often used, include:

    • Books/articles written BY an author; enter the name in the search terms box, select Author from the search index menu.  
    • Resources ABOUT a topic or person, enter the search terms and select Subject from the index menu.
    • If you know a title or significant words from a title, enter those terms and select Title from the index menu.

You can use as many combinations as you like but remember that unlike a keyword search, here you are searching in specific indexes which may severely limit your results if you attempt to be too specific or use terms that are not found in the selected index.


On the right side of the screen are options for databases that will be searched, the default is set to the Luther Library Online Catalog but you may add or delete databases by placing or removing the checkmarks in front of each database listed.  Remember to SAVE CHANGES.

  • DEFAULT:  The Luther Library Online Catalog plus the WorldCat Dissertation and Theses database.
  • ARTICLES:  Subscription databases for articles (many online, full-text) including ATLA Religion and JSTOR.
  • WORLDCAT+: The default set above.
  • ALL DATABASES:  All resources available -- print and electronic -- to which you have access.


Located beneath the Search Indexes, this allows you to limit your results further before performing the search.

Note especially:

  • ONLY RETURN PEER REVIEWED ARTICLES:  important for finding academically credible articles.
  • FORMAT:  a drop-down menu for selecting resources in a specific format; Article, Audiobook, Newspaper, etc.
  • PUBLICATION YEAR:  enter a date range for publications within a specific time period.
  • HELD BY LIBRARY:  The default includes resources held in libraries worldwide  You may choose to limit to only items held by Luther.  


The results screen will display all the records that contain your terms; the number of results is listed at the top of the page.  You can limit your results further by using the options on the left side of the screen under Refine This Search.  

  • The title of the item is hyperlinked to a fuller description of the work.
  • The author name(s) are hyperlinked to find other titles written by the same author.
  • The record indicates if the item is held by Luther Seminary or another library.
  • The record indicates if the item is currently available or checked-out.
  • The call number is listed so you can find the book on the shelves.
  • Not all books are available online, however, if there is an eBook version available you will see the following link: