CLIO Catalog Search Tips


The CLIO (Columbia Libraries Information Online) Quicksearch widget






can be found on the Barnard Library home page at
















and on the Columbia University Libraries home page at








CLIO contains several different sections.  If you use the Quicksearch widget without making a selection from the drop-down menu at the left-hand end, you get results from five subsections of CLIO:

  • The Catalog (books, journals, online resources, videos, and more)
  • Articles (journal articles, e-books, dissertations, and more)
  • Academic Commons (digital repository of Columbia community research)
  • The Columbia Libraries website
  • GeoData

This guide focuses on searching the Catalog.

In the Catalog you can find, among other things:

  • the books available in all Columbia Libraries locations
  • the titles of journals, magazines and newspapers (but not articles)
  • audio and video recordings
  • links to online databases.

Catalog Search Tips

Select “Catalog” at the left of the search box









Use the drop-down menu to search for words in All Fields, Title, Journal Title, Author or Subject.

For an “All Fields” search:

  • Put exact phrases in quotes, for example: “gender roles”
  • Use an asterisk (*) to get all possible endings to a word, for example, feminis* finds feminism, feminist, feminists
  • Type OR (in caps) to search for either of two or more terms for example: medieval OR “middle ages”
  • Use “OR”, “AND” or “NOT” (must be ALL CAPS) and parentheses to create complex Boolean searches, for example: “gender roles” AND (medieval OR “middle ages”). See Boolean Keyword Searching Help page.

Refine your results using facets, or categories, on the left of the search results. Once selected, these will remain in place until they are removed.

  • Format – to find items by physical format, e.g. book, microfilm, online
  • Publication Date
  • Author
  • Acquisition Date
  • Location
  • Language
  • Subject – to find items about a topic
  • Subject (Region) – to find items about a place
  • Subject (Era) – to find items about a time period
  • Subject (Genre) – to find items by content type, e.g. correspondence, personal narratives, fiction
  • Call Number

After selecting a facet, you can change “Is” to “Is not” to eliminate that category of item from the results list.

The Item Record Page

When you look at the record for an individual book, note:

The information on the right hand side shows you which libraries have the item. The call number tells you where in the library the book is located. Use the stack number guide when you get to the library (see below).

If the book isn’t available, you can use Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan to request it from another library.

You can send the record to your phone.

Click on one of the Subjects to find more works on a topic. There’s often a link to the book in Google Books.

Finding a Book at the Library

The call number tells you where the book is located.  There are call number guides online, posted on the walls and available on paper at Butler Library, to guide you to the correct floor of the Butler Stacks or the Milstein section of Butler: