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Library Research

Call number and Subject Searches

What are call number and subject searches, and how do I do them?

  • Call number search: find details of an item based on its individual call number.
  • Subject search: search for materials based on their subject classification.

To perform these searches, click on advanced catalogue search under the catalogue search box and select the relevant tab (Call no. or Subject).

In this video, two types of searches are demonstrated: a call number search, and a subject search.

Example Searches

  • Call Number

In the example below, we have entered the Library of Congress (LC) call number for a book. Clicking on search takes us to the full catalogue record, revealing its title as An Angel at my Table by author Janet Frame.

If your call number belongs to another system of classification, select the appropriate radio button before performing your search.


  • Subject

In the example below, we are searching for information on Australian literature, in all information formats.


Your search will generate an alphabetical listing of subject headings, based on the keywords you have used in your search.

In the example below, there are a number of subject headings related to Australian literature. The information available may include:

  • SUBJECTS: a list of all the related subject headings. Click on a heading to access individual items.
  • YEAR: where only one item is catalogued under that subject, the year of publication will be included.
  • ENTRIES: the number of items in the catalogue under this subject heading.
  • SUGGESTED TERMS: suggested alternative search terms.

Click the headings to display individual item records, noting the fifteen related subject terms/areas.


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