Search the Catholic Portal

Searching the Portal


To browse all records in the Catholic Portal, click the "Find" button above. For a more specific search, enter search terms related to your topic. It is also now possible to search for full text content within the Portal.

Search help is available below on the following subjects:

To perform an advanced search, click here.

Search Fields

When you first visit the Advanced Search page, you are presented with several search fields. In each field, you can type the keywords you want to search for. Search operators are allowed.

Each field is accompanied by a drop-down that lets you specify the type of data (title, author, etc.) you are searching for. You can mix and match search types however you like.

The "Match" setting lets you specify how multiple search fields should be handled.

  • ALL Terms - Return only records that match every search field.
  • ANY Terms - Return any records that match at least one search field.
  • NO Terms -- Return all records EXCEPT those that match search fields.

The "Add Search Field" button may be used to add additional search fields to the form. You may use as many search fields as you wish.

Search Groups

For certain complex searches, a single set of search fields may not be enough. For example, suppose you want to find books about the history of China or India. If you did an ALL Terms search for China, India, and History, you would only get books about China AND India. If you did an ANY Terms search, you would get books about history that had nothing to do with China or India.

Search Groups provide a way to build searches from multiple groups of search fields. Every time you click the "Add Search Group" button, a new group of fields is added. Once you have multiple search groups, you can remove unwanted groups with the "Remove Search Group" button, and you can specify whether you want to match on ANY or ALL search groups.

In the history of China or India example described above, you could solve the problem using search groups like this:

  • In the first search group, enter "India" and "China" and make sure that the "Match" setting is "ANY Terms."
  • Add a second search group and enter "history."
  • Make sure the match setting next to the Search Groups header is set to "ALL Groups."

Wildcard Searches

To perform a single character wildcard search use the ? symbol.

For example, to search for "text" or "test" you can use the search:


To perform a multiple character, 0 or more, wildcard search use the * symbol.

For example, to search for test, tests or tester, you can use the search:


You can also use the wildcard searches in the middle of a term.


Note: You cannot use a * or ? symbol as the first character of a search.

Fuzzy Searches

Use the tilde ~ symbol at the end of a Single word Term. For example to search for a term similar in spelling to "roam" use the fuzzy search:


This search will find terms like foam and roams.

An additional parameter can specify the required similarity. The value is between 0 and 1, with a value closer to 1 only terms with a higher similarity will be matched. For example:


The default that is used if the parameter is not given is 0.5.

Proximity Searches

Use the tilde ~ symbol at the end of a Multiple word Term. For example, to search for economics and keynes that are within 10 words apart:

"economics Keynes"~10

Range Searches

To perform a range search you can use the { } characters. For example to search for a term that starts with either A, B, or C:

{A TO C}

The same can be done with numeric fields such as the Year:

{2002 TO 2003}

Boosting a Term

To apply more value to a term, you can use the ^ character. For example, you can try the following search:

economics Keynes^5

Which will give more value to the term "Keynes"

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators allow terms to be combined with logic operators. The following operators are allowed: AND+ORNOT and -.

Note: Boolean operators must be ALL CAPS

The AND operator is the default conjunction operator. This means that if there is no Boolean operator between two terms, the AND operator is used. The AND operator matches records where both terms exist anywhere in the field of a record.

To search for records that contain "economics" and "Keynes" use the query:

economics Keynes


economics AND Keynes

The "+" or required operator requires that the term after the "+" symbol exist somewhere in the field of a record.

To search for records that must contain "economics" and may contain "Keynes" use the query:

+economics Keynes

The OR operator links two terms and finds a matching record if either of the terms exist in a record.

To search for documents that contain either "economics Keynes" or just "Keynes" use the query:

"economics Keynes" OR Keynes

The NOT operator excludes records that contain the term after NOT.

To search for documents that contain "economics" but not "Keynes" use the query:

economics NOT Keynes

Note: The NOT operator cannot be used with just one term. For example, the following search will return no results:

NOT economics

The - or prohibit operator excludes documents that contain the term after the "-" symbol.

To search for documents that contain "economics" but not "Keynes" use the query:

economics -Keynes