Search tips

Type a word or phrase into the Search box to see which books contain that word or phrase

  • You can search for a word or phrase in English or an Aboriginal language
    • You can use special characters (the website understands special characters like ä and ŋ and ḏ)
  • Books which have that word or phrase in the title or the main information about the book will appear at the top of the list
    • If you don't see the word in the results, it might be because the word is in the text but not the title

You can search for more than one word at a time

  • If you’re looking for an exact phrase – use “quotes marks”
    • e.g. “black cockatoo” or “yolngu matha”
    • you can search for words in any language in the archive (English or an Aboriginal language)
    • TIP: Only use this if you’re looking for a very specific word or phrase, otherwise you might miss some useful results by mistake
    • Use OR to find one of a number of terms 
      • eg sugarbag OR honey
      • the results of this search will give some books with sugarbag and others with honey - if you want both, use AND
    • Use AND to find two (or more) words anywhere in a book 
      • eg song AND dance
    • Use NOT to exclude a word
      • eg woman NOT man
    • Use * (asterisk) if you’re not sure how something is spelt (sometimes called a ‘wildcard’ search)
      • e.g. jukur* will show both jukurpa and jukurrpa
      • This is also useful for a word which may have different endings
        • e.g. kungka will only show results with this word on its own, but kungka* will show kungkawaṟa, kungkanya etc.

NOTE: Search looks for whole words, so use the * if you only have part of a word, to help you find words which contain this portion.


  • Start with a broad search and use filters to refine your results
  • You can always change how the results display on the screen
  • If you get too many search results, use the FILTER options at the side of the screen

NOTE: The first results are usually the most relevant to what you typed in, with the word/s either in the title or key information about the book, or several times in the text.


If you want to be more specific about where a word or phrase is found, then use More options

TIP: using the standard search (as above) should give accurate results. Only use Advanced Search if you want to be really specific in how you combine search terms for different fields, or limit to certain fields.

Click the arrow next to the Search box and select More options to access this area.

Here you can type word/s and search only in certain fields (e.g. title, person) 

  • If you enter more than one word, use the arrows next to “all words” to specify if you want the words to be searched together
    • all words – same as AND - eg bush food will show only books with both bush AND food
    • any words – same as OR - eg bush food will show some results with bush but not food, or food but not bush, or some with both
    • as a phrase – same as using "quote marks" - eg bush food will only show results where the both words appear together as "bush food"

Search for the word(s) in a specific field

  • Use the arrow next to All Fields to specify which field you want to search  
    • TITLE                    - searches the book title and any translated title or alternate title
    • PERSON               - searches the author, illustrator, translator, photographer, editor
    • PUBLISHER          - searches the name of the publisher of the book            
    • ISBN                      - searches the International Standard Book Number (but not all books have this)

You can also combine these options

  • For example, you recall seeing a book about sugarbag by someone named Mary
    • Type sugarbag and select Title, then on the next row type Mary and select Person
      • TIP: you would get the same results by typing sugarbag AND Mary in the regular search box

You can limit your search to one author or one place or one language

  • Use the Advanced Search boxes as above, but click on either Author, Place or Language to browse a list of names to choose from
  • Click inside the box to see a list to choose from

NOTE: You must type something in the search boxes or this feature won't work

Find multimedia

  • Check this box if you only want to see books that have audio or other media files with them
  • Remember to put something in the Search box or this won't work

Version 1.0.0. | Design and implementation by Steven McPhillips.