Phrase Searching - PittCat allows for phrase searching with the use of “ “. For example, the search "climate change" will find items with the phrase climate change in them.
Wildcard and Truncation – You can use wildcards (* and ?) symbols to search PittCat.
Advanced Searching - Check the Advanced Search for more tips and techniques to enhance your search, including Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT). Note: Boolean Operators must be entered in all uppercase/capital letters.
PittCat is the main searching tool for all of the materials owned by the University Library System (ULS), including articles, books, ebooks, journal articles, ejournals, audio and video, digital images, government documents, microfilm and movies.
Signing into PittCat gives you access to the most results. The sign in option is in the upper right hand corner of your screen.
To begin a search, enter a term in the “search anything” box. You can select Books, Articles, and More to search for items across the entire library system including journal articles, images, ebooks, and more. Use the Library Catalog option to search for items available both electronically and physically in our libraries such as books, videos, music scores and more. The Course Reserves option will help you find materials put on reserve by instructors for a specific course.
The Results Screen shows you a list of items with basic information--click on a title to get a more detailed overview of the item you’ve selected. This detailed view gives you much more information about the item. You can see where the item is located and ways to email or print the record as well as how to cite. You may also see an abstract for the item or a table of contents if available.
You can Refine Your Results by using the menu on the left. If you only want a physical copy of the book pick “library holdings” or if you want an electronic copy of a book, choose e-book.
If Full-Text Content is available, you can get the full-text by clicking on the item title or the "available online" link.
You can add Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT) into the Simple Search (the default search box) by adding them in all caps.
As you search in PittCat, you can keep track of important items by saving them to your Saved Records list. To save a record you must be signed into PittCat. Select the record you want to save, and select the push pin icon in the upper right of that record.
To see your saved records, you can click on the push pin next to your name in the upper right corner or click on your name to open the drop-down menu and select My Favorites. Select the Saved Records heading to see a list of those items you have saved.
You can print, email, or export your selected items individually or as a selected group.
Use the EndNote/Zotero feature to save the items to import into citation management products.
Subject headings describe the main subjects or topics covered in a book. All print material is labeled with Library of Congress subject headings to help users quickly find the subjects they need. Browsing PittCat by subject heading is also a great way to quickly search for specific subject areas. To search by subject heading, use the Browse feature, and select Library of Congress Subject Headings.
The general subject heading for 19th Century English literature is English Literature 19th Century.
Because the ULS has such a large collection, subject headings are often broken down into subheadings. For example:
To find materials on a particular author, use PittCat, click on Browse and select Name (By or About), to search the author’s name by last name first name. For critical material on that author’s work, look for the subheading CRITICISM and INTERPRETATION. For example: