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Search Fields

Title, Author/creator, Subject

For title, author, and especially subject, see the information on the Starts with/Browse page.


Searches series title and volume number. Used primarily for monographic series, e.g. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 132-33


This field is different from Resource Type: it has much more nuance and variation. In general, form/genre helps distinguish the physical form of an item from its topic. For example, locks of hair can have the form/genre designation "hair," but books about hair will not ("hair" would instead appear in the book's subject terms).

SPECIAL CASE: MICROFORM. HOLLIS uses the Form/Genre field to identify items in Microform formats (microfilm, microfiche, etc.). You can find this term in the Form/Genre filter menu and you may use it in as a search term within the Form/Genre field. Note: in individual HOLLIS records, microform format information will appear in the "Get It" section and/or the title rather than the form/genre field.

Some but not all Harvard libraries use this field, and each collection uses it in a different way. You’ll most often see it in special collections or subject libraries such as Houghton, Schlesinger, and the Fine Arts Library.

If you find a form/genre term that has been consistently used in the Library Catalog, it is a powerful way to narrow your search to examples of a form or genre. For example, scores at the Music Library, armorial bookplates at the Law School Library, or hair at Houghton Library. The best way to find out if a form/genre search is the right approach for your purpose is to contact the librarians at the collection you’re interested in.

Note: For article records (in Catalog & Articles), form/genre is unreliable for search or filtering because it is so inconsistently applied. You will see some records, especially for more recently published materials, that have a term in that field, but many records for the exact same type of material will have no form/genre listed and would be excluded from your results.

Place and Place of publication

Note: place names are in some records but not others, so it's always a good idea to try multiple search strategies for places.

"Place" searches all fields for geographically coded terms. (The coding is invisible to you.) This can help you search for books about the city of Chicago while excluding books about the Chicago Academy of Sciences, the Broadway musical "Chicago," and other non-geographical meanings of the term.

"Place of publication" searches the text of the "place of publication" as well as additional fields that encode place.

See below under Code: MARC Place of publication for another way to search by country (or US state) of publication.

Image Repository:

The "Image Repository" field identifies one of Harvard’s image repositories or any of the additional repositories whose images may be included in HOLLIS, such as the Louvre. If you are doing extensive searching for images, you might prefer to search Havard’s dedicated image catalog, HOLLIS Images.


These are unique numeric identifiers for books (ISBN), journals (ISSN), and Harvard Library Catalog records (HOLLIS #). Note: neither ISBN nor ISSN is a failsafe search, as there are many books and journals that have no ISBN/ISSN, and there are also many books and journals for which the HOLLIS record may not contain the relevant ISBN/ISSN.

The "Code" Fields

These fields provide additional search options for the Library Catalog.

"Code:" searching is an excellent strategy if you want to find all items in a category without having to enter a search keyword. For example, all Widener items that are not available online, all items published in Uruguay, or all items published in Tamil. Note: the total counts displayed in HOLLIS’s filter menus are approximations and are not suitable for reporting purposes.

Code: MARC Language

Unlike the language drop-down menu also available in Advanced Search, this field allows you to see all items published in the chosen language, without having to enter additional keywords.

Add the desired code from the MARC language code list.

Example: search for all German-language archives/manuscripts dated 1701-1750.

Code: MARC place of pub

You can see the list of MARC place of publication codes organized alphabetically or by geographic region. (If you have trouble finding the country you're looking for, there is a cross-referenced list available.). Unlike the “place of publication field,” which is free-text and uses the publisher’s language for place, the MARC place codes key individual cities and other place names to a country or a U.S. state.

Example: to find all items in the Library Catalog that were published in Portugal in the last 20 years, you can use the place code “po” instead of having to search “place of publication” for Lisboa OR Lisbon OR Coimbra OR Porto....

Note: this is not a failsafe search, as not all Library Catalog records are coded for place of publication.

Code: Library + Collection

These codes are special to Harvard. Note: the total counts displayed in HOLLIS’s filter menus are merely approximations and are not suitable for reporting purposes.

To see all materials from one of Harvard’s libraries, use the relevant 3-character code with an asterisk. Example: use WID* OR CAB* OR LAM* to find all French-language materials in Widener, Lamont, and Cabot, or MCZ* to find all material held by the Ernst Mayr Library that was published in Brazil.

You can also search within an individual subcollection by entering the 3-character library code followed by the location code, with no spaces in between them. For example, use LAMFARNS to find everything in Lamont's Farnsworth room.

A selected list of Library Codes is available. For subcollections, contact Ask a Librarian to learn the current code for your search.

Code: Local Call Number

The majority of Harvard’s circulating collections use call numbers from the Library of Congress (LC) classification system, but many special and historical collections use specialized call numbering systems. This code allows you to search within non-LC call numbers.

Enter 3 or more characters from the beginning of the call number, removing all spaces and punctuation, followed by an asterisk.


Note: to locate a specific item by call number or to browse a list of items in shelf order, use “Starts with/browse.”

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