What Am I Searching?

BU Libraries Search provides a single place to search for a wide variety of academic material provided by the BU Libraries, including books, journals, scores, video and audio recordings, and other physical items in the BU collection. The search also covers ebooks and ejournals owned by the library, as well as online material provided by the library from a variety of sources.

To allow searching across such a wide variety of resources, our search draws on numerous sources of information about the resources, with various levels of detail. In a sense, the search knows different amounts of information about different items.For example, a book owned by BU may only be searchable at the level of the whole book—the search will know the title, author, and subject of the book, but nothing more, so a search for a chapter title will not find the book. A different book may be more fully indexed, and you can search its table of contents, so a search for a chapter title would be successful. And yet another book–more likely an ebook–might have its complete text available for searching, which would make it possible to find not only chapter titles but phrases within a chapter.


To get full use out of our search, it is helpful to have some understanding of what is being searched and the extent of search capabilities for various resources. When you perform a standard search, all of the following resources are searched.