Information on Specific Search Limits


Limits results to those languages selected from the pull-down menu.

The limit applies only to the predominant language of the material.

The first choices are the most commonly occurring languages listed in alphabetic order, followed by the remaining choices in alphabetic order.

Library Location

Limits results to those at a physical place, (one of the libraries listed within the menu), or those that appear in CLIO as being online.  Items that are in offsite storage, on reserve, in transit, or some other stage of processing will not be retrieved.

The location as it appears in CLIO may be a combination of the library where it is held and the area it is shelved.


  • Health Sciences Media

Do not use this feature as a technique for looking for information by topic. It is likely that books on any one topic can be found in many libraries. Using this feature as a substitute for topic can cause you to miss useful titles.

Date of Publication

Confines search results to materials published in a single year or span of years.

The greater-than sign > meaning "after the year," the less-than sign < meaning "before the year," and the "range" options can be particularly useful when searching for materials for which the date of publication is uncertain.

To search for date of publication equal to, before or after a year, enter the year in the first box in the format YYYY and click the appropriate radio button, =, < or >. For > and <; the year entered is not included in the search.

To search between two dates, enter a year in each of the two boxes and select "Range." Unlike the "before" and "after" searches, the range search is inclusive, that is, the years entered are included in the search.

Reprint publications will only be retrieved by setting the search limit to the date of the reprint, not the original date of publication.

Some materials will not be retrieved at all when date limits are set because no data was recorded in the encoded fields used for date limiting. For instance, catalog records for many archival manuscript or mixed material collections do not include this encoded date information.


Use this limit when you are interested in results for one of these two media types:

  • Electronic Resource
    Any material that is accessed, processed, or executed by computer. This includes digitized text, images, and other materials regardless of how they are delivered (Internet, CD-ROM, etc.). Corresponds to the Quick Limit  "All Electronic Resources" and is the most comprehensive way to select online materials.
  • Microforms
    Material published on microfiche or microfilm


Use this limit when you are interested in certain publication types. For each format material can be any medium such as: paper, Internet, microfiche, etc.

  • Books
    stand-alone text publications
  • Serials
    materials published recurrently; e.g. journals, annuals, newsletters, etc.
  • Music Scores
  • Maps
    Maps in any format (book, map sheet, etc.), or medium (print, digital, etc.), but search will cover only Columbia holdings that have been cataloged. For more maps, see the Map Collection in Lehman Library.
  • Visual Materials
    Videos, DVDs, slides, filmstrips, transparencies, etc.
  • Music Sound Recordings
  • Spoken Recordings
  • Drawings and Photographs
    Two-dimensional, non-projectable, graphic; e.g. drawings, photos, computer graphics, etc.
  • Computer Files
    Computer software; computer-oriented multimedia; online systems or services. (For a broader search of material in electronic formats, choose the Medium limit "Electronic Resources", but do not use these two limits at the same time.)

Place of Publication

Use this limit when you are interested in materials published in a particular place.

Publication place options are presented in a pull-down menu comprised of country names.

However, in the case of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, their constituent states or provinces are listed, following the country name.  For these countries, it is not possible to select one limit for the whole country.  Instead, select all the constituent parts of the country by holding down the shift key and selecting the first one and the last one (e.g. to limit to items published in Canada, hold down the shift key and select the first and last province).

For places that have undergone a name change, choose all versions of a name to get publications from all time periods (e.g. Czech Republic and Czechoslovakia).

When a work is published in more than one place, the limit will apply only to the first named place in the catalog record.