Advanced Search in MNCAT

Don't forget about the Advanced Search page in MNCAT Plus. You can do sophisticated searches to get right to what you really want. 

For example, if you're searching for primary sources on the African Americans in the U.S. Civil War, add the subject term "sources"

MNCATsourcescivilwar.jpgto your search, in addition to your topical search terms.

Grab the Tab!

Ever want to direct someone to the exact tab on the Libraries home page?  Shane points out that you can see the exact url if you hover over the tab. Here they are for your convenience:

Articles and Databases

Links to MNCAT in general also include:

MNCAT Classic
MNCAT Mobile

Searching by Bibliographic Record no/System ID

Have you tried to remember or find the MNCAT Classic Command for the Bibliographic Record no. / System ID number and couldn't find it listed anywhere?

This crucial identifying number, which appears at the very end of a MNCAT Classic record, can be searched in either Classic (Command) or in Primo (keyword). Let's say that you copy it from the last line in a MNCAT Classic record, or somebody gives you a Bib record number, also referred to as a  system ID number -- for example, 005918770. Let's say you write this down, and need to look it up later and can't remember or don't have the title, or the title is too short to get the specific record you want, or maybe the book is in Russian, or some other language that seems tricky to type into MNCAT. 

Here's what to do:
  • For Classic, use SYS= and you can remove the leading zeros, or leave them in; (SYS= does not have to be in capital letters, either)
  • For Primo, you must keep the zeros and stick it right onto umn_aleph

Try it:

in MNCAT Primo        umn_aleph005918770

in MNCAT Classic Command:  
sys=005918770 or

Improvements to MNCAT Plus

The following changes are now available in MNCAT Plus:

  • New MNCAT Plus banner and color scheme that is more aligned with the redesigned library web site
  • Clicking on a title or icon in the search results now loads the details tab in full display mode
  • New "all campuses" search scope 
  • In addition, when possible, call numbers will be included in the brief record display.

MNCAT Plus Upgrade

The Libraries will be upgrading MNCAT Plus during late August. The upgrade will take place in stages staring on Saturday, August 21 and continuing through the week of August 29. Our goal is to minimize downtime while the upgrade in progress. However, there will be a few periods of downtime lasting 1 - 2 hours. In addition, personalized features, such as the e-shelf, will be unavailable during part of the upgrade. No new items (books, journals, etc.) will be loaded into MNCAT Plus during the upgrade.

On Thursday morning, August 26, at approximately 6 a.m., the process of migrating data to the new version of MNCAT Plus will begin. During this time, MNCAT Plus will be available for searching, but the following features will be unavailable:

  • E-shelf
  • Reviews and Tags
  • Saved Queries and Alerts
  • Modifying Personal Preferences
We apologize for the inconvenience. More information on the new version of MNCAT Plus is available here.

The sidebar rocks! Refine by geography, genre & form

The many faceted sidebar rocks, indeed:

News from our group:
It is now possible to refine a MNCAT Plus search by geographical subject. For example, if you are searching for items about agriculture in India, you will be able to search on the word "agriculture" and then refine your search using the search refinement options on the
left of the screen.

We have also improved the ability to refine results by genre or form. For example, if you are searching for proceedings of agriculture conferences, you can search for "agriculture' and then refine your results by selecting "Congresses".

You can also apply multiple refinement criteria to your search results. By applying first "India" and then "Congresses" as refinements to your search results, you can find conference proceedings on agriculture in India.

The geographical terms are drawn from Library of Congress subject headings, which were not originally designed for use in MNCAT Plus. Because of this they do have some limitations. The terms are not strictly hierarchical: for example, the term "United States" will not include works focussed on specific states within the U.S.A. You will also see some variations in the terms used to designate a given place, e.g. Bengal may be represented as "India Bengal" or "Bengal (India)". Nevertheless, we hope that MNCAT Plus users will find this new feature useful.

Hathi Trust links

Certain  MNCAT records will now include links to HathiTrust, a shared digital repository for collections from over 25 major academic and research libraries. The text of all of these materials in Hathi can be searched and many of them are available in full text. The University of Minnesota is one of the major library partners that have launched HathiTrust Shared Digital Repository through the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). 
The links are shown with a HathiTrust icon.
hathiorange.png  For individual volumes, an orange HathiTrust icon means the complete text of the item is available for viewing online.

Thumbnail image for hathigray.png  A gray HathiTrust icon means that the book is searchable but the actual text is not displayed. In other words, you can use Hathi as a search mechanism to identify page numbers where your search word appears within the actual book. This will help you decide if you want to check out the book from the University Libraries. If there are multiple volumes the link will take you to a HathiTrust page that shows you the availability of the individual volumes.


Incidentally, the name Hathi is from the Hindi and Sanskrit word for "elephant".


You can also search HathiTrust directly at

Click on the screen display below to enlarge it.


Try it out in MNCAT Plus - here are a few titles we own that are also available or searchable in Hathi:

Examples of titles searchable in Hathi:

  • The sun fetcher : poems  by Michael Dennis Browne

(note: the word sky appears seven times in this book. Use Hathi to get the page numbers. (Find the book in the library or use the Get It service)

  • Graceland : going home with Elvis by Karal Ann Marling

Examples of titles available full text in Hathi:

  • The Select poems of Dr. Thomas Dunn English
  • The mammals of Minnesota, a scientific and popular account by Herrick

Facets move to left side

On May 17 the facets for refining search results in MNCAT Plus will be moved from the right-hand side of the screen to the left.  This change will bring MNCAT Plus more into line with the layout of navigation features familiar in many other web sites.

The screen shot below shows what the new layout will look like (click image to enlarge).


--the Primo Management Group

Sharing resources found in MNCAT Plus

A note about MNCAT PLus  e-Shelf :

A permanent e-Shelf requires login with your x500, and at the moment MNCAT Plus does not have the capability to have a group eshelf account.  However there are two alternatives for sharing resources found in MNCAT Plus.

Multiple people can assign tags to items in MNCAT Plus creating a collection of resources around a topic.  Tags are words that help you identify and search for items of interest.  Once you found an item of interest, on the lower right-hand side there is an "Assign/Remove Tags" link.  Assign tags to the items of interest and anyone can search on those tags to find a group of related resources.   For more information on tagging in MNCAT Plus, visit:

RefWorks - Shared Account
RefWorks is a citation management resource offered by the University of Minnesota.  There is no limit to the number of accounts one can have.  A member of the group could create an account and share the username and password with the other members of the group, creating a shared account that everyone adds materials to.  It is a good idea to backup RefWorks shared accounts periodically, just in case one of the members deletes resources or alters the organization by accident.  You also can provide read-only access to an account to others.  For more information on RefWorks, visit:

Call number searching in MNCAT Classic

Did You Know?  You can search by call number in MNCAT Classic.
Try it yourself in MNCAT Classic:

(example is Library of Congress call number PS3573.A425 C6 1986, the call number for The Color Purple )