Help (Find books, articles and more)

Use Library Search to discover the Library's printed and online collections, together with millions of scholarly e-resources all at the same time.

Quick start

  • Simply type one or more words into the search box
  • You can choose to search either 'Everything' or 'UoB Collections'
  • To search for words as a phrase, type quotation marks around the phrase, eg "climate change"
  • Use our Search tips below if you are not finding the results you had hoped for, or are retrieving too many or too few results

Additional advice and support

What am I searching?

UoB Collections - covers the Library’s print and electronic collections, including books, eBooks, journals, eJournals, theses, and more.

Search everything - a wider search that includes UoB Collections plus a huge collection of journal articles, conference papers and other documents from a variety of publishers and databases. Please note: For comprehensive searches for articles in your subject area, we recommend that you use the recommended databases for your particular subject, which may also provide more powerful search facilities.

Search tips

  • You can search for a phrase by enclosing the words in quotation marks, eg "global warming"
  • Use an * (asterisk) as a multiple character wildcard, eg climat* (for climate, climates, climatology, etc) or math* (for maths, mathematics, etc)
  • Use a ? as a single character wildcard, eg wom?n (for woman or women)
  • Library Search assumes you are searching for items with all the words you type in unless OR or NOT are specified between the words and phrases

Searching for a particular book?

  • Try searching for the author's last name and one or more significant title words, eg orwell farm
  • If you know the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) of the book, you can search for this (without hyphens, eg, 0751400785). If you do not find a result try a keyword search to double check
  • If you are trying to locate a book chapter, search for the title and/or the author/editor of the whole book
  • If you only know the title, try entering a few title words - entering a full long title is usually unnecessary

Searching for books on a particular subject?

  • Try searching with one or more keywords, eg history england or history engl* or "english history". If your search finds too many results, consider adding further subject keywords
  • Alternatively if you know the classmark of a useful book on the subject, you could use one of the 'Browse Search' Classmark options

Searching for books by a particular author?

  • Try searching with full parts of the name (initials will not work), eg stephen hawking
  • If you have the last name and initial only, you could use the Browse Search 'Author' option and enter hawking s

Trying to find other library materials, such as a thesis, DVD, or eBook?

  • If you are only interested in particular types of materials, perform your search and then use 'Refine My Results' by 'Resource Type'.
  • For theses, select 'Dissertations'; for eBooks, select 'Books' followed by the 'Full Text Online' link

Using your results

Various options will display below each search result that may include Locations/Availability for print resources held in our libraries, or View Online for resources we have online access to.

Refine Results, 'Show only', and Sorting

  • When search results display, you will see various options which may allow you to refine by 'Material Type', 'Library', 'Publication Year', etc, and show only ‘Full Text Online’ and ‘Available in the Library’
  • Search results are sorted by relevance, though you can change the Sort to Date, Author, Title, etc, by clicking on the small down arrow symbol next to 'Sorted by' at the top right (and bottom right) of the search results.

Sign in

Sign in to Library Search to get full results, to reserve printed items that are out on loan to other users and to access your Library Account and your Favourites (saved searches and records).

Sign in when prompted or via the link in the top right-hand corner of the Library Search screen.

Students and staff (including honorary staff) - when prompted choose 'University of Bristol Library users' and from there you will be taken to the University's single sign-on page where you will input your University username & password:

  • UoB username, e.g., ab1234 (undergraduates, some postgraduates) or lwabc (staff, some postgraduates)
  • UoB password, i.e., the password you use with your University username

External users (including UoB graduates, former UoB staff, Sconul Access scheme for students and staff from other universities, individual memberships, etc.) - when prompted choose 'External users of the Library' and input your Library number and Library PIN repectively:

  • Library number, is given to external users at registration. For enquiries, please contact our Membership Team
  • Library PIN - if you do not know your PIN please enquire at one of the libraries Information Desks

My Library Account

Includes information about you and your use of the Library:

  • Loans - a list of the items you have on loan and, particularly where items have been reserved by other users, the date on which items are due for return. Also, a list of previous and historic loans (approximately 3 years old)
  • Requests - a list of reservations you have made with the ability to cancel any that are no longer required
  • Fines & fees - information about your cash transaction, including fines and inter-library loan charges.
  • Blocks and messages - lists any issues with your account

My Favourites 

A simple and convenient way to save and then manage (sort, print, email and download) the searches you do and the records you find. To access My Favourites, sign in and then select the pin icon at the top right-hand side of Library Search.


For help or advice on accessing electronic resources, please email:

For subject-specific help, please contact your subject librarian.

For technical help, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Ask a librarian

Our out-of-hours service.

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