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Basic Searching Using Primo
The "New" Library Catalogue Interface
Primo – UBC
What is Primo?
Primo is not your traditional library catalogue. PRIMO is what is called a “discovery layer” which provides a Google-
like interface to searching for resources in the library catalogue, Rare Books and Special Collections, cIRcle (UBC’s
Institutional Repository) and digital collections.
This guide will provide you with the following basics of using Primo for your research:
• Performing a basic.
• Refining searches by using facets (i.e. limits)
• Using quotations marks to find an exact phrase (e.g. “ “).
Performing a Basic Search
Unlike the old library search interface, Primo allows you to search the library catalogue without using the “AND”
between keywords. Primo, like Google, assumes “AND” between every term you use.
For example, if you want to search for “feminist activism in Canada,” in the old catalogue you would have to put
“AND” between every term to make the search work (e.g. feminist AND activism AND Canada). With the new
Primo interface, “AND” is assumed and you can perform the search, for example, feminist activism Canada, and
you will find results.
Searching for an Exact Phrase
To search for a title or exact phrase in Primo, you need to use quotation marks.
For example, if you wanted to perform a search for The Feminine Mystique
A search without the quotations will be understood by Primo as this: the AND feminine AND mystique
This will pull up all records that contain any of these words.
If you search using the quotation marks: “the feminine mystique”
The search will pull up records that contain the words only as an exact phrase. This will provide you with a more
precise result if you are searching for a specific resource.
*Tips* If you don’t remember the exact spelling of a term, Primo will provide options for the correct spelling
through the “Did you mean” spell checker.
Using Facets (Limits)
Primo provides you with a new function of narrowing down your search results after you have performed a search.
To narrow down your search, you need to use the facets.
The “Refine My Results” (i.e. facets) section
allows you to narrow (i.e. limit) your search by
availability, location, topic, author/creator, date,
type of resource, language and classification.
You can use as many limits as you need
simply by selecting the link(s). The more
limits you use, the more narrow your search
results will be.