New Library Catalog Launched

Posted: Wednesday, 31 August 2016 - 4:34pm

Initially released as a beta service in the spring of 2016, this new catalog is the result of a two year effort to improve and eventually replace our twenty-year-old Main Catalog and incorporate the best features of contemporary library search technology. The catalog is available at https://pulsearch.princeton.edu and is also directly available from the main search box on https://library.princeton.edu under the heading “New Catalog”.

Some of the noteworthy features of this new system include:

  • A “faceted” browsing approach that allows for easy post or pre-filtering of search results by subject terms, call number, format, and location in the Library.

  • Better information about all of our collections. This new system will eventually have records for all materials held in our collections, and provide direct online access to many of them. Recently added are records for our Princeton Senior Theses and for visual resources that are part of the Graphic Arts Collection in the Rare Books and Special Collections Department.

  • Persistent URLs. For example, if you executed a search for the term “beethoven symphonies” and limit by Mendel Music Library to the format of “Score” the link produced can be copied, shared, and referred to the in the future without breaking. In addition, individual records are now easily identified with a persistent URL: https://pulsearch.princeton.edu/catalog/9550416.

  • Improved visibility for new library acquisitions. A “recently added” facet is available that facilitates the browsing of newly acquired materials. For example, the link https://pulsearch.princeton.edu/?f%5Brecently_added_facet%5D%5B%5D=months_2 allows users to browse the materials added to our collections in the last two months. This value can be combined with other facets to limit new materials by library location, subject, and format among other choices.

  • Better visibility for online resources. Users can now easily access links to catalog items that have online versions from the search results page in addition to the full record page. Users can also invoke a facet that can limit search results to only online content. Please note that access to online resources is often restricted to members of the Princeton University Community or are only available for use when connected to our campus network.

The technology used to implement the catalog is based on Blacklight, which is an open source collaboration across several institutions including Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Stanford,Yale, and a number of others.

We will continue to update and refine this service based on feedback from the Princeton community. If you notice something wrong, or think something could be improved, please send us feedback.