Skip to Main Content


Search Tips for the Library Catalog

BULS Search Box

Begin with a keyword search and try various combinations. How you search can determine the number of results:

For example:  cathedral OR Ukraine Any source that contains cathedral, any source that contains Ukraine, and anysource that contains both

Using and narrows the search: cathedral AND Ukraine must include bothe Ukraine and cathdral, similar to a Google keyword search

Using or broadens the search. : (Ukraine OR Russia) AND cathedral  This search includes results for either Russian or Ukraine, but all results should include cathedral

Ukraine AND Russia AND cathedral  iis a narrower search.  It would show you results that mention all three terms, and should not include works that mentions onlycathrals in Ukraine.

The Not functions excludes certain terms from your search:  Russian AND cathedral NOT Basil .  This is the search for someone who wants to find cathedrals in Russia, but exclude St Basil's. Useful 


The BU Library Search also has many facets that can be used to refine your search in various ways.  

For example, try searching only in the author field:  Author search for Winnie Mandela

Using the options on the left-hand column, you could further limit your results in various way, for example choosing only article or using the date slider to see only material published before 1994.

The results provide a breakdown of books and articles on that topic and other similar subject headings you might want to investigate.

**** For more details see the Power Searching Guide****

Find Books

Our library search will show you both ebooks and print books.After searching, use the filters on the right to limit only to online or rpint resources.

Keyword searching often works well for finding books in the BU Library Search. But if you are not getting the results you would like, try using a Subject Searhc. For example:

Art, Russian

Art, Ukrainian

Art, Soviet

Russian icons

*Hint: you can always try replacing art with a more specific term, such as: Painting, Ukrainian

*Hint: to search articles and images, just uncheck the "books/ebooks" filter in the right column of your results list.





Getting Books Not Available at BU

There are several ways you can obtain books or articles that we do not own. These include:

  • WorldCat Discovery. WorldCat Discovery allows current BU faculty, staff, and students to borrow books directly from other Boston Library Consortium libraries. Turnaround time is approximately three working days. (How to use WorldCat Discovery)

  • Interlibrary Loan. Interlibrary Loan services allow current BU faculty, staff, and students to request books, articles, book chapters, and other materials that our ILL staff will obtain from other libraries. Books generally take 2-4 weeks to arrive; articles are generally delivered electronically within 1-2 days.

  • BLC Cards. A Boston Library Consortium Card allows the bearer to borrow—in person—circulating material from a member library, just as you would from a BU library. Boston University faculty, staff, and students on the Charles River Campus may obtain a Consortium Card by filling out an application form. Medical Campus affiliates apply at the Alumni Medical Library.


Profile Photo
Rachel Dwyer
she/ her
African Studies Library
6th floor,
Mugar Memorial Library
Mon-Fri 9am - 5 pm
Subjects: African Studies