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Nimitz Library

Searching For Media Materials In the Library Catalog

All DVDs, audiobooks, and Playaways are included in the library catalog. There are a number of ways to access them:

Keyword Search

The keyword search consists of words from the title, series title, corporation, and subject headings. Also, if a contents note was included, the words from the contents notes are included. To restrict a keyword search to just a certain format, add the phrase "video*" or "audio" to your list of keywords. This will pull up every record with the phrase "video" or "audio" in the record.

Warning: You may get non-media items by using this method. (Do a keyword search with the words "patriot" and "video*". You will retrieve both Patriot Games and The Patriot, but you will also retrieve books about videos.) Also, personal names (such as authors, actors, and directors) are not included in the keyword index. A much more precise method to retrieve only video or other formats is by limiting.


Limiting is a more precise method to restrict your search to a specific collection or format.

First do a search, by any means: author, title keyword, numerical. Then click on the limit/sort button. Under "Where the item is located", pick "V > Audiovisuals" and then click on the "Limit this search" button at the bottom of the screen.

The Limit/Sort Button can also be used to focus searches to specific media formats. Step one, complete a search by any means (keyword, title, author, etc.). Step two, click on the “limit/sort” button. Step three, use the “Material Type” box arrow down button to see a list of limit criteria. To limit your search by using the following three options:

For videos (tape or DVD) select “Visual Media”
For music select “music”
For books-on-tape or books-on-CD select “audio spoken”

Make sure you complete the “limit” function by using the button on the bottom of the limit screen.

Subject Searches

There are some special subject headings which can be applied to items in the Media collection. You can subject search under the following:

Feature Films -- Individual, full-length, fiction videos, with a running length of 40 minutes or more. These are the kinds of films that are released in theaters and would get an MPAA rating (G, PG, R, etc.). It may include television dramas.

War Films -- A subset of Feature Films, these are videos that deal with war.

Jazz Collection -- The Library's collection of Jazz music CDs.

Foreign Language Videos

There are a number of foreign language videos in the collection, both fiction and non-fiction, in Spanish, French, German, Russian, Chinese and Arabic, as well as other languages. They may be found by doing a subject search under Spanish language videos, French-language videos, etc. A list of the possible languages can be found by doing a subject search under Foreign language videos. (DVDs with foreign-language soundtracks are also retrieved.)

Title Search

The Title index includes more than just the title on the title screen or spine. It also includes:

  • Series titles -- Do a title search under Modern Marvels, for example, to see a list of the sixty videos in series we own.
  • Television programs -- such as 60 minutes, or America's Defense Monitor. Names of television programs are usually (but not always) followed by (Television program) in parenthesis.
  • Individual tape titles -- In a multi-tape set, we may list each tape's title separately. (These titles are displayed in the Contents part of the record, or as an "additional title" in the display.)
  • Alternate titles -- The title you see on television and the title on the video label or on the container may not always be the same. We try to use them all: Twelve Angry Men as well as 12 Angry Men, for instance. There also may be a foreign language title, such as an English title for a foreign language film.

Author Search

A bit misleading, since videos don't really have authors, but you may find actors, directors, and producers included here. Also included may be the corporations that produce the video (History Channel) or the distributor (Warner Home Video). Author searching will retrieve materials on Books-on-tape and Books-on-CD.
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