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Searching Special Collections in MERLIN: Home

Guide to using the Advance Search feature in the MERLIN catalog to limit to Special Collections items.

How to Search Special Collections in MERLIN

Did you know the MERLIN library catalog will let you limit your search to Special Collections?  Here's how to do it.

Get set up to search

Starting from the main MERLIN screen, click on the Advanced tab.

Advanced search tab

On the Advanced Search page, enter your keywords at the top.  You can use the dropdown menu to search within Author, Title, or Subject (Table of Contents and Notes are not advised for Special Collections materials).  Or you can leave it open to search all available fields.

Keyword search

Limit your results

Scroll down to Add Limits.  Under Specific Library Location, choose MU Ellis Special Coll.

Limit to Special Collections

You can use additional limits such as language or year of publication.  Because Special Collections holdings include lots of microfilms, it's useful to limit by Material Type

Limit by material type

Hold down the CTRL key to make multiple selections.  Some useful limits include:

  • Looking for books, pamphlets, journals, etc.?  Limit to Books and Journals/Newspapers.
  • Posters - limit to Images
  • Maps - limit to Maps
  • Microfilm, microfiche, etc - limit to Microforms

Know Before You Go

If at all possible, please register as a Special Collections user in advance.  Online registration form

Bring a photo ID!  Your MU student ID or a driver's license will be fine.

Most materials can't be checked out, but you can put them on hold in the reading room.

Allowed at the reading tables: pencils, paper, laptop computers, mobile devices (silenced), and cameras.  You'll be asked to store your backpack, coat, and other personal belongings elsewhere.

You can take pictures with your phone or a camera.  But remember - no flash!  Special Collections staff can make photos or scans for you for a fee.

More information on using Special Collections