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Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Help with the online catalogue HEIDI: Search

Choice of the branch library

Screenshot 'Branch library'

Within HEIDI you can select your choice of the branch library. You will see what items can be 1) borrowed, 2) ordered, for borrowing or viewing, or 3) can only be used on site.

Your chosen branch library is shown in the menu bar and can be changed at any time.

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Simple search

Screenshot 'Simple search'

“Simple search” consists of a single entry field, similar to those used in Internet search engines. All terms entered will be searched simultaneously. The following search fields are included in the search:

  • Person
  • Title
  • Keyword
  • Publication year
  • ISBN
  • Corporate body

Advanced search

Screenshot 'Advanced search'

“Advanced search” consists of three entry fields, that allow a combination of different search terms. The fields can be changed via pull-down-menus. The “search hints” offered for the various search terms will change accordingly.

When you combine the search fields you can choose between the operators “and”, “or” and “not”.

“Simple search” and “Advanced search” both use the same pool of data.

Options and search functions


Many search categories in “Advanced search” are indexed, so you can browse before importing the correct term into your search.


Screenshot 'Options'

With “Options” you can limit a search to the collection of just one institute or seminar. With the default settings you search across the entire collection of Heidelberg library system.

If you take out the tick in the “Complete” box, you can deactivate the suggested search. You can also alter the number of hits shown with the “Display” option.

Suggested search

Screenshot 'Suggested search'

When entering a search term, suggestions for completing the term will be shown, taken from the relevant index. You can browse this list of suggestions using the up and down arrows on the keyboard. Typing “Enter” imports the selected term into the search field.

“Suggested search” can be deactivated via “Complete” in the choice of “Options” (see above).

Boolean operators

If more than one search term is entered into a search field, they will automatically be combined with the Boolean operator AND. Other Boolean operators can be added: OR or NOT.

  • OR
    This will find titles in which either the one term, or the other term, or both terms, occur. This allows the simultaneous search for synonymous terms, or a search for terms in different languages.
    Example: nightingale OR rossignol
  • NOT
    This will find titles in which only the first term occurs, and not the second. This limits the scope of the search.
    Example: Heidelberg NOT romanticism
  • AND
    This will find titles where both search terms occur. The result is the intersection of both terms and the scope of the search is limited. The AND-operator is a standard default setting in HEIDI and does not need to be entered.
    Example: goethe schiller

The three search fields in “Advanced search” are also pre-linked with the AND operator. By using the pull-down-menus, this can be changed to OR or NOT.


Truncation allows various forms of a search term to be considered. This is achieved by using a wild-card to represent a variety of letter combinations. This wild-card is represented by a star symbol “*”. Truncation can be used after the third character.

Example: attract* will retrieve “attractive”, “attracts”, “attracted”, etc.

Phrase search

To avoid retrieving too many hits, you can enter a so-called phrase search in “All fields”. If you mark your search term with inverted commas, it will search for the exact word sequence.

You can also select an appropriate search category such as ”Initial title element”, “One-word titles”, “Journal title” etc.

Search Instructions

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