Universität Bonn

University and State Library

Searching for books

Tips and tricks for finding the books you want. How can you tell whether a book is in a University library and, if so, what format it is in?

Want to know whether the University of Bonn holds a certain book?

  • Simply enter a search term into the search field of our bonnus search portal.
  • For example, you need only enter the name of an author or a keyword from the title of a work. Alternatively, you can enter both a name and a keyword without having to link them together, just like you do on Google.
  • Please make sure you spell your terms correctly.
  • You can also run an “Advanced search” to search in more detail.
  • There are various options you can use underneath the search field:
    • that contain all query words: this is the default setting. All search terms entered are taken into consideration, irrespective of their order.
    • begins with: this setting will make your search run in the “Title” field automatically. Your results list will then contain works whose titles start with your chosen search terms. This is a particularly good idea when searching for a journal or newspaper with a very generic title, such as “Die Zeit.”
    • that equal the exact phrase: when this option is selected, your search terms are searched for in the given order.
    • You can also specify that your search terms are only to be looked for in certain search fields. By default, the search terms are permitted to appear in any search field.
Two students research books from a bookshelf
© Frank Homann / Universität Bonn

Too many hits?

There are numerous filter options on the results page that you can use to refine your search results. They include the following:

  • Available online: only items held in electronic format will be listed.
  • Available on site: only printed items that are held at the USL or a faculty library and only electronic media that can be consulted there on site will be displayed. Note that this filter setting will exclude articles and most e-media.
  • Resource type: you can restrict your search to a particular form of publication by choosing e.g. “Books,” “Periodicals,” “Dissertations” or “Articles.”
  • Creation date: enter “From” and “To” dates to specify the period from which you want to see publications.

Not enough hits?

  • Search in full text: if you flip this switch, the search will also look for your terms elsewhere, e.g. in abstracts or within the text itself.
  • Use fewer or different, related query words.
  • Truncate your search terms (for example, searching for genetic* would find records that include the terms “genetic,” “genetics,” and “genetically”).

How do you get hold of your book?

The title record has details of the location and availability of your book. Please log in using the relevant credentials. The system will recognize your user status, i.e. whether you are a student, a member of staff or an external user, and will show you accordingly whether and how you can access an item.

One new feature is that several editions and/or versions of a book are now combined in a single result and displayed under “Multiple versions.” Click on the link to view the individual editions.

Printed holdings

Under “Availability on site” in the detailed view for a result, the section “Location items” shows you which libraries have a copy of your book and whether it is currently available.

The exact name of the library (and its address) appears at the top. Then you get more information on the precise location, especially in the case of the Main Library and MNL Branch Library. The next piece of information you see is the shelf mark. After that comes a detailed list of how many copies in total are held at this particular location, how many of these are currently available and how many are currently on order.

Online holdings

If you look under “Availability online” in the detailed view for a record, you will find links that you can follow to access licensed and freely available media directly. As an alternative, many providers will allow you to log in via “institutional access” using your Uni-ID.

  • Only members of the University can view licensed media off site, and only after installing a VPN client.
  • Books can be viewed, saved as PDFs or printed out depending on the license agreement signed with the provider.
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