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Using the Online Catalog

Start a Simple Search

Main search bar (empty)

After signing in*, enter search terms in the open search box - this can be topical keywords or a detail like the title or author of a particular work you're looking for. Your search results will include all print and e-books from the Wiggin Library. Use the refinements described below to narrow your search by various categories, including physical or digital availability.

*You will be prompted to sign in if you haven't already before you are able to request a book to borrow.

Refine Your Results

"Refine your results" menuUse the "Refine Your Results" menu on the left side of the page to narrow down your search and sort results. You can choose to either include or exclude resources based on the    attributes described below. The most useful refinement is frequently "Resource Format" which allows you to select physical books in print or digital resources.

Refine results by with limiters with checkmarks to the left to include in search and to the right to exclude

To select more than one option from a refinement drop-down to include in your search results, hover the mouse over the options to reveal checkboxes to the left of the term(s) to select and add.

To exclude results based on a refinement drop-down, use the red checkboxes to the right of the term(s).

"Sort by" drop-down menu to order resultsSort by: Use the sort by drop-down menu to select the preferred order for search results. The default is by Relevance, but you may also choose Date-newest, Date-oldest, Title, or Author.

Refine results by Resource FormatResource Format: Refine your results to books in print ("Physical Resources") or available online ("Digital Resources"). This is a useful refinement for locating resources that are immediately accessible as ebooks.

Refine results by Resource TypeResource Type: Refine your results by type of resource - e.g. Books, Video, Dissertations, etc.

Refine results by SubjectSubject: Refine your results by the subject of the resource. Subjects are listed in descending order based on number of times the subject heading is applied to articles in the results. 

Refine results by Author/CreatorAuthor/Creator: Refine your results by author or creator - this is especially helpful if you know the item you're looking for.

Refine results by Wiggin Library LocationWiggin Library Location: Refine your results based on where in the Wiggin Library the item is found - e.g. Main Stacks, Reference, Display, etc.

Refine results by owning I-Share LibrariesI-Share Libraries: Refine your results by I-Share library. You can select multiple to add to your search.

Refine results by Creation DateCreation Date: Select a date range to limit your search results to - this is especially useful when looking for recent scholarship.

Refine results by LanguageLanguage: Resources in the catalog are majority in English, but also includes works in a host of other languages. You can select multiple languages to include in your search.

Refine results by Course NameCourse Name: Refine results by course name for titles that are on course reserve at Meadville Lombard.

Refine results by Course InstructorCourse Instructor: Refine your results by instructor name for courses with resources on course reserve at Meadville Lombard.

Advanced Search

Advanced search features are an excellent way to locate specific resources in the catalog. Combine boolean operators (simple words like AND, OR, and NOT) with searches of particular descriptors in the catalog (like Title, Author, Year of Publication, ISBN) to create focused searches with fewer, but more accurate results. Advanced search is particularly useful for doing a known-item search, where you are checking to see if a specific book is available vs seeing what books are available in general that meet your needs. 

Anatomy of Advanced Search:

Advanced search menu

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1. Select the field in the description of an item you'd like to search - i.e. Title, Author, Publisher, etc. Leave as is to search anywhere in an item record - this functions as keyword search.

2. Choose between "contains," "is (exact)," or "starts with" depending on the type of search you are doing. If you know the exact item you are looking for, "is (exact)" will bring back results where the exact words as written in your search. The default is the broadest, "contains."

3. Enter search terms here. 

4. Use boolean operators "AND," "OR," and "NOT" to coordinate two sets of search terms. For more information about boolean operators and other advanced searching techniques, visit the MIT Database Search Guide.

5. Add an additional line to the search for including another set of search terms, connected by the boolean operators.

6. Select the type of resource you're looking for - i.e. Book or Video/Film.

7. Select the language for the resource if that is important - for example, if you are looking for English translations of the work of an author who writes in French.

8. Choose a start and end to limit your results to publication within a certain time frame. This is also useful to specify the edition of a book you are searching for that has several versions available.


Find Digital Resources

You can use the Refine Results options to limit your search results to digital resources and ebooks only. After running you search, mark the checkboxes to the left of "Digital Resources" and if present, "Open Access Digital Resources" underneath "Resource Format". A checkmark in green should then be visible next to both options and a box will appear to "Apply Filters". After you click "Apply Filters" the results will only include digital items only.

Refine your results by Resource Format menu with filters applied for "Digital Resources" and "Open Access Digital Resources'

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Ebook results will include a green link that reads "Available Online." For books with both print and ebook versions available, you may see both "Available Online" as well as the location of the print book on a single result. In some cases the print and ebook versions of a book will be grouped together, with a link to "See all versions" that will display two or more records for that title in different formats or editions. Select the record from those versions that includes the "Available Online" link.

Search result with multiple versions available

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When you open an ebook item record, select the link beneath "View It - Full text availability" to access it. The text of the link will vary depending on the ebook platform (Ebook Central, EBSCOhost Ebooks, etc.):

Link for full-text availability of a resource in an item record

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If you are signed in to the online catalog, you will automatically be signed in to access ebooks. If you haven't, you will be prompted to enter your Populi login information. Open Access resources will not require any sign in.

For more information about accessing and using ebooks, see the Using Ebooks guide.

Find Course Reserves

Course Reserves can be accessed through multiple platforms, including the online catalog. The primary access point for Reserves is a course's resource page where you will find a links to required readings. The resource page can be found via the course's Populi page. If you are already in the catalog and want to search for items on Reserve, there are several options:

  • Search for the course title or course ID number. 
  • Search for the title of the required book. Or, use Advanced Search to also include more info like the author or ISBN.

All items that have one or more copies on Course Reserves will have a purple "Course" icon. When you open a record for an item on Reserve, you can browse the other books on the course's list by scrolling to the bottom of the record to view "More from the same Course." This appears beneath "Virtual Browse," which shows the item in it's regular, permanent location.

Course Reserve icon 

As a reminder, Course Reserve books circulate for 4 weeks during the semester and cannot be renewed. When placing a request, check to see if there are copies available in the Main Stacks or in I-Share as you'll be able to borrow those books for a longer time.

Find Related Items

The online catalog makes it very easy to view related items using "Virtual Browse." This feature allows you to view the books that are shelved next to the book you are currently viewing. Books at Meadville Lombard are shelved according to subject matter and form using the Library of Congress Classification system, so looking at the "shelf" lets you see books that are close in topic or theme. 

Virtual Browse menuHovering over a book cover will display the title, author, copyright date, and call number.

Can't Find Something?

If you need a book that isn’t available at the Wiggin Library or through I-Share, submit an ILL request form with as much bibliographic information about the book as possible. Meadville Lombard is a member of several library organizations that provide borrowing privileges at seminary libraries in the Midwest and around the country that we can connect you with. Our librarians can also help you find the book locally. 


Meadville Lombard Wiggin Library
180 N. Wabash Ave.
Suite 625 
Chicago, IL 60601

Library and Archives Phone: 312-546-6488        Library Email:        Archives Email: