Biblioteca – Catalogue

Search recommendations

Here are some tips for optimising your search in the catalogue using Boolean operators, truncations or subject-specific searches.

General recommendations

  • The order in which words are typed and the use of upper or lower case is irrelevant. However, it is best not to use accents or other punctuation marks such as colons (:), commas (,), semi-colons (;), etc. Nor is it a good idea to use articles, prepositions o conjunctions, as they may make the search slower.
  • The system recognises the following Boolean operators: OR (which brings up any record in which one of the indicated terms appears), NOT (which brings up records that do not contain the term indicated after NOT), ADJ (which brings up records that contain the indicated terms only if they are adjacent to each other) and WITH (which brings up records containing a field that has a phrase with all the terms indicated). If you do not use any of these operators, the system will bring up records that contain all the terms you have specified.
  • Searches can be performed by word roots or trunks. To do so, use the $ sign to substitute the letters not typed, for example: child$ -> will bring up records containing the words: child, children, childhood, etc.
  • A question mark (?, ??) can be used to replace one or two letters when the spelling is not known with certainty or when various possibilities exist, for example: qui?ote -> will bring up records containing the words Quijote, Quixote, etc.
  • When you specifically want to search for a term that happens to also have a function in the search system, like a Boolean operator, $ or ?, put it in quotation marks. For example: I'm “not” there.

Recommendations for searching by subject

Please take into account that the catalogue's authority records are currently undergoing a process of revision and standardization, so there may be different authority records for the same item. In subject fields, the terms are registered in a standardized manner (in Spanish, although some terms in English are also present). These authority records may not coincide with the way the terms appear in the work itself. To facilitate retrieval, it is also recommended that you use the fields "General" and "Título" (Title), where you can enter the names exactly as they appear on the cover of the work.

Specific searches:

  • Individual exhibits (those in which no more than three artists participate): just type, in the field “materia” (subject), the name of the artist and the word “individuales”, connected by the operator WITH. For example: Picasso WITH individuales
  • Artistic techniques: the Library uses the singular to designate art techniques and media: “dibujo”, “fotografía” (drawing, photography), etc. However, it is possible to search for these terms in plural by using subheadings. For example,: dibujo$, fotografía$.
  • To locate documents about "grabado" (etching), you should also search for the terms "arte gráfico" (graphic art) and “estampas" (prints). Sometimes the generic term “arte” is used when the document refers to more than one technique. For example: (grabado$ OR gráfico OR estampas) Holanda
  • To search for events such as “certámenes" (competitions), “ferias” (fairs), “salones” (salons), “premios”, (prizes) “bienales” (biennials) “trienales” (triennials) etc. you should use the terms “ferias” and “bienales” joined by the operator “OR”. For example: Francia (ferias OR bienales)
  • To search for museum collections, just type meaningful words from the name of the museum and the term "catálogos” (catalogues). For example: Centre Pompidou catálogos
  • Bu using the term “colecciones” (collections) or “colecciones privadas” (private collections) it is possible to locate documents about collections belonging to private individuals or bodies. For example: Telefónica colecciones, escultura colecciones privadas Francia.
  • The Library does not use place adjectives in its subject headings, but rather names of countries, regions, cities, etc. Therefore, do not look for “pintura española” (Spanish painting) or “arte francés” (French art), etc., but rather “pintura España” (painting Spain), “arte Francia” (art France), etc.
  • If you want to locate documents about a certain century, you must use Roman numerals. It is not necessary to type in the word “siglo” (century) or its abbreviation “S”. For example: pintura Francia XIX (painting France XIX)

Locating documents

Advice for locating a document found in the catalogue, and for finding your way around the reading room.

To use the MNCARS library collection, users must locate the work they wish to consult in the catalogue and note the field “Ejemplares” (copies), which indicates how many copies the library has and where they are located.

The collection is distributed in two types of space: the reading room and the stacks. The location of the document is indicated by the signature.

Access to the list of signatures

Documents in the stacks

The stacks contain a varied mix of materials. To look at them you must submit a request to the room staff. The signatures located in the stacks are: CD, CDME, CDR, DONACION, DVD, DVDME, DVDR, VINL, VINS, [journal] Encuadernada, Folletos Caja, Folletos Grande, MAN, MATERIAL ESPECIAL, LA, FL, COM, FAN, RESERVA, REVII, [journals] Sueltas and SUPERMAN.

To look at the material kept in the stacks you must submit a request to the room staff.


Catalogue to retrieve documents from our Library´s colletions Access to the catalogue