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Othmer Library of Chemical History: Search Online Catalog

The Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer Library is an independent research library.

Search Midon the Othmer Library's Opac

Scopes in the Opac


Scopes are sub sets of the library's collection that can can be searched seperately.  For example if you want to search the Othmer LIbray's rare book collection only simply select this option from the drop down menu and your search is narrowed to that section of the collection only.

The library has the following Scopes:

  • Othmer Library Rare Book Collection (searches all the rare books in the collection)
  • Neville Rare Book Collection (only searches Neville Collection material)
  • Reference Collection (searches only material shelved in the reading room)
  • Archives Collection (searches archives and images only)
  • Journal Collection (searches print journals only)
  • View entire collection (searches the entire collection)

 This is what the scope drop down menu looks like:


Saving your searches

Saving your searches

If you have a favorite author or subject for which you often search when using the catalog, you can save the search with the click of a button. This will
prevent you from having to key in the search each time and let you place reserves on new materials quicker.

How to:

  1. Log in to your patron record using the barcode found on the back of your  library card. 
  2. Click on the "New Search" button.
  3. Search for your favorite author, subject, title, etc. or create an advanced   keyword search including limits to material type, language, publication year, 
  4. When your results are displayed, click the button marked "Save as preferred search". 
  5. The next time that you log in to your My Millennium Account, you can click the "Preferred Searches" button to see a list of your saved searches. 
  6. Click on the search link associated with any of the preferred search terms in the list to quickly execute your search. 
  7. You can be alerted of new materials added to the library collection which match your searches. Just check the "Mark for Email" box and be sure that your patron record information includes your current email address.

Searching Midon, the Othmer Library's Opac

Basic Searching

The default search in the opac is a keyword search.  Simply type in your keywords and hit the submit search to search the entire collection.

For example:

  • Polymers
  • Inorganic Chemistry

Search tips

Wild Cards

Words may be right-hand truncated using an asterisk   ('*') in place of other characters. The '*' wildcard may also be embedded  in a search string. You may also use '?' to replace a single character anywhere within a word.

For example:

  • alchem*
  • wom?n

Boolean Operators

Use "and" or "or" to specify multiple words in any field in any any order. Use "and not" to exclude words.

For example:

  •  chemical and handbook
  •  (annotated bibliography) and (chemical and not chemistry)

To change the type of search you would like to do simply select a new option from the first drop down menu. 

Advanced Keyword Searching Tips

Multiple Words

When searching multiple words the system will automatically supply the Boolean "and" operator between each word; multiple words entered for the search will all occur somewhere in the retrieved records though not necessarily in the order entered. Both examples on the right will retrieve the same results.

For example:

  • American Chemical Society
  • American and Chemical and Society

Phrase Searches

Search for complete phrases by enclosing them in quotation marks. Words enclosed in double quotes will appear together in all results exactly as typed.

For example:

"American Chemical Society"


*   Matches any number of non-space characters, starting at the specified position in the word. For example, "comput*" will match all words that begin
with "comput" (e.g., "computer", "computation", etc.).

The '*' wildcard may also be embedded in a search string.

?   You may use a question mark ('?') to replace a single character anywhere within a word.

For example:

* Wildcard:

  • environment*
  • polic*
  • comp*

? Wildcard:

  • wom?n

Boolean Operators

Use AND or OR to specify multiple words in any field, any order. Use AND NOT to exclude words. Select the operator you wish to use from the selection list on the Advanced Search form.

For example:

  • chemical and handbook
  • polymer or plastic
  • chemical and not chemistry


Field Limits
Field limits may be specified by selecting a field limit from the selection list. These limits appear before the word or phrase to be searched. A field limit causes the system to search only the specified field for the specified word(s).

Field Limits and their meanings:

  • Author: Search only author fields 
  •  Title: Search only title fields
  •  Subject: Search only subject fields
  •  Note: Search only note fields
  •  Subject: Search only subject field 


Keyword search results are usually grouped by relevance to bring the most likely titles to the top of the list. Each group represents a similar level of relevance and results are sorted within the group by date or title. To get an ungrouped result set, use boolean operators to form a complex query.

  • Most relevant titles
  • Highly relevant titles
  •  Very relevant titles
  •  Relevant titles
  •  Other relevant titles