Research Guides

Searching the Catalog

The online Catalog of the University System of Maryland contains records for the Thurgood Marshall Law Library collections, including many of our electronic resources. The Catalog can be accessed from any computer on campus or from off campus at

Overview | Logging in | Searching | Patron Placed Holds | End Session

Overview of the Online Catalog

In addition to Thurgood Marshall Law Library, the Catalog provides access to the holdings of the various libraries within the USM such as University of Maryland, College Park. The Catalog also provides direct links to other libraries such as the Baltimore County Public Library. Records in the Catalog provide a full description of each item, along with its subject headings, call numbers, library locations, and circulation status. The Catalog also contains current periodical receipt records and indicates which materials are on order for the library.

Logging into the Catalog

From the initial screen, you may either log in as a guest or log in using your library barcode and last name. If you are doing a quick search for library resources, you can simply log in as a guest. Logging in by barcode and last name will allow you to save information from separate searches, request holds on items and check you library record. Your library record contains information about books currently charged under your name, the status of holds you have requested and any fines that you may owe. Once you sign into the Catalog, there are a number of options available to you.

Screenshot of sign-in page for catalog

Logging in as a Guest

There are three links on the top navigation bar: Sign In > End Session > My Account. Click the Sign In or My Account links to enter your barcode and last name for more Catalog options. The End Session will end the connection to the Catalog and recent searches will not be saved.

Screenshot of catalog page showing location of sign in and my account links

Logging in with Your Barcode and Last Name

The Catalog offers more options when you sign in with your barcode and last name. On the top navigation row, you now have the option to view Saved Searches or Saved Items. Click the My Account link to view your patron record. The End Session link will end the connection to the Catalog and unsaved searches will not be saved.

Screenshot of catalog page showing location of saved searches and saved items links

How to Search the Online Catalog

General Search Tips

  • DO NOT use initial articles a, an, the, and their foreign equivalents.

  • You may use lower- or upper-case letters (case does not matter).

  • You may use the Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT in your search string. For example, you could type "(heart or cardiac) and surgery" to retrieve all records having heart or cardiac in them, together with the word surgery.

  • Parentheses can be used to ensure that relationships among terms are correctly specified.

  • Use the ? character to find matches that contain portions of words. For example, gun? will retrieve gun, guns, gunners, gunnery, gunning, etc.

Basic Search Options

Pull down the search option menu to select search type. You can search by word/s anywhere (keywords), authors, titles, subjects and call numbers. The basic search does not allow you to limit your search results.

Screenshot of catalog page showing basic search options

  • “Word/s anywhere" searching retrieves words from the title, subject headings, or other parts of the record for the book.

  • “Title beginning with...” searching allows the searcher to enter the first word/s of a title and browse the list of titles alphabetically.

  • "Title word/s" searching retrieves any word/s from the title.

  • “Author beginning with...” searching allows the searcher to enter the first word/s of an author and browse the list of authors alphabetically.

  • "Author word/s"searches for persons or organizations that appear as authors or editors of books.

  • “Subject beginning with...” searching allows the searcher to enter the first word/s of a subject heading and browse the list of subject headings alphabetically.

  • "Subject word/s" searching retrieves any word/s from the subject heading.

Advanced Search Options

The Advanced Search option allow you to search more than one field at a time. You may also limit your searches on the Advanced Search screen.

Screenshot of catalog page showing advanced search options

Viewing Search Results

Note that all institutions that own an item are reflected in the record – even in the local Catalog, but selecting UMLL or the title will bring up the local record and holdings.

Screenshot of catalog page indicating links to institutions owning item

When you are viewing the full record in the local Catalog, notice that all institutions that have copies of the item are reflected in the record. In the local Catalog, the home institution (UMLL) appears first in the standard or default view. Options for saving, printing or delivering the search results via email appear at the top of the screen. You can move between records in your list of results by clicking the navigation buttons in the upper right corner of the record.

Screenshot of full record display in catalog

If you see the word "unknown" in the location portion of the record, please seek assistance at the User Services Desk.

Click the "Availability" link to find out where it is located in the collection and to check whether the item is currently on the shelf or checked out. If the item is checked out, the due date will appear on the right side. Click the "Holdings" link to see a list of which issues or updates have arrived in the library.

Saving Search Results

Saving your search results when you log-in as a guest allows you to save search results for the current session only. If you wish to save results across search sessions you must log-in using your barcode and ID and then select save search.

Patron Placed Holds

Patron Placed Holds may be placed from the global Catalog or any individual Catalog. Once you have found an item that you would like to request, click on the Availability link. The Availablility page lists all schools that have the item and the current status of the item at each insitution. On the Availability page, you should click the Request button. You will be required to enter your barcode and last name if you have not already logged into the Catalog. Next, you must select a pickup location. If you want to pick the item up at the Thurgood Marshall Law Library, select "UMLL" from the drop-down menu. Click the "Send" button.

Once your request has been completed, you will be returned to the full view of the record. You can check the status of your request by selecting My Account from the top navigation bar.

End Session

If you have logged in using your barcode and last name, you must click the End Session link in the top navigation row to end the current session and clear your account information from the computer you are using. The End Session link will end the connection to the Catalog and unsaved searches will not be saved.

Screenshot of catalog page indicating link at top of page to end session

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