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September 25th, 2000
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Locating Resources at the Law Library, Part Two: Library Catalogs

As we discovered last week, the Resource Guides available on the Law Library web site ( are a great place to start your search for information resources. (See Law Library News and Views dated 9/18/00.)But for materials not covered by our guides, you may want to try searching MadCat, which is a catalog of materials owned by the UW-Madison Libraries, and WorldCat, a combined catalog of thousands of libraries.

What's in MadCat? (

The first step in effective searching is understanding what types of materials are and are not contained within MadCat.


  • Books, journals, video recordings, government reports, etc.

Not Included:

  • Individual journal articles are not indexed in MadCat
  • Some materials published before 1976 are not yet included
Although there are several search types, the two most often used are Author / Title / Journal Title. . . and Guided Keyword. What's Author / Title / Journal Title. . . ?

This type of search is best when you know the exact title or first few title words of the item for which you are searching or if it has a one word title.

To search, use the radio buttons on the search screen to specify the type of search (Author Browse, Title, Journal Title...), then type your search terms in the text box.

What's Guided Keyword?

Use this type of search when you aren't sure of the exact title or first word(s) of a title or if you want to search a combination of fields (author, title, keyword, etc.)

To search, enter your terms, then, from the menu on the right, choose a connector (any of these = or, all of these = and, or as a phrase = phrase). From the menu below the text box, select the field you wish to search (keywords anywhere, title, author name, etc.). You may search multiple fields with the same search.

What's WorldCat? (

When a search in MadCat doesn't retrieve any relevant items, try the search in WorldCat, a combined catalog of thousands of libraries

If you find materials that you would like to borrow, you may do so electronically by using the interlibrary loan feature from within WorldCat.

Written by: Bonnie Shucha
Reference & Electronic Services Librarian

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