Quick Guide to Searching the CAT

To use The CAT, visit the University Libraries’ home page (libraries.psu.edu) and click on the link marked "Search the CAT." CAT Help pages: Click "Help" in the blue menu bar at the top of any CAT screen.

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Quick Search


The "Quick Search" screen allows you to select from a powerful array of searches. From one screen it is possible to perform any of the main search types: keyword, browse, or exact search. This enables you to easily select the search most appropriate to your needs.


Use Quick Search when you have a basic topic in mind, and want to get results quickly. Advanced Search should be used for more complex searches. Quick Search performs three types of searches: Keyword, Browse and Exact.

  • Choose Keyword to find a word or phrase anywhere.
  • Choose Begins with (Browse) to search a series of words sequentially.
  • Choose Exact to search an exact title, author, or subject.


To begin a quick search:

  1. Type the word(s) or phrase you’re looking for in the box provided. Note: You can use Connectors (AND, OR, NOT) by typing them directly into your search box.
  2. Select the type of search that you want to do (Keyword, Browse or Exact).
  3. From the dropdown menu, select the kind of search you want to do: Keywords Anywhere (Searches the entire record); Topic: Title + Subject; Author; Title; Journal Title; Series; LC Subject Heading or Medical Subject Header, or ISBN
  4. Select a Library to limit your search to a specific library location, if you desire. “All” will search the entire PSU Libraries collections at all locations.
  5. Click the Search button to begin your search. Sample Quick Search: