Begin Searching the New Online Catalog Monday February 1!

By way of preparing our members and library patrons for the Monday February 1 launch date of the David Straight Memorial Philatelic Union Catalog on its new GeniePlus platform, the catalog that researchers use to access materials from the APRL and the holdings of the other 12 partnering philatelic libraries, the APRL has created a series of video tutorials introducing and outlining the various functions of the new catalog.

The first video gave users a brief introduction to the new online catalog on its new platform, describing some of the familiar and also the new features researchers can expect when using the new catalog. In this news item and the video below, we will now delve into how catalog users can create a Basic Search and the options available for refining that search, as well as how to conduct an Advanced Search in which the user can build and execute a more detailed and precise search query, one that involves multiple search terms and multiple search field.

new puc basic search

First, a Basic Search in the new online catalog can be done in one of two ways. From the catalog home page, across the top of the page just under the tabs that can be highlighted by your cursor is a row of the 26 letters of the alphabet and as well as the word All. Each of these letters and the All term are links that when selected with a click will take the user to a list of all the records in the online catalog, regardless of library location, whose title begins with that letter. If K for example is selected then all the titles in the catalog (i.e. book titles, journal titles, exhibit titles, etc.) that start with the letter K will appear in your search results. This is the most immediate Basic Search a user can perform without using search terms.

There is also another Basic Search that can be done from the online catalog home page. In the text box that appears on the home page just above the aforementioned row of letters and just below the tabs at the top, you can type search terms in order to conduct a Basic Search. The terms that you type into this text box by default are by combined with the search element “and.” For example if you type the terms “fundamentals Williams philately” in the Basic Search text box and click “Search” on the right of the page, the catalog will search for records in the database and return only those results in which all three of the chosen terms appear, regardless of the field in which they appear (i.e. author, title, notes, publisher, keywords, etc.). The retrieved results from your Basic Search will also have the terms highlighted so that you can see where your search query found the terms in the retrieved records.

Once you have retrieved search results when performing a Basic Search, you can refine your results further without leaving the search results page. To the left of your search results will be sub-categories for your retrieved records listed by the fields AuthorMaterial TypeSubjectLocationPublisher and other fields. If you move your cursor over one of the sub-categories, for example Material Type and then put a check mark with your cursor in one of the material types listed there, say either Book or Article, your search results will add that as a search criteria and refine your results to reflect you selected sub-category, either books or articles in this example. If a more detailed and precise list of retieved records is preferred then the Advanced Search option should be chosen by the user.

new puc subcatagories

In order to conduct an Advanced Search, on the home page of the catalog move your cursor over the tab at the top titled Advanced Search and click. You will then be taken to the Advanced Search page. The page will display a number of search text boxes at the top from which researchers can select different search fields in the pull down lists and then type in their search terms for those specific search fields. Users can link the search term fields together using or, and or not.  Search fields that can be selected are Titles, Authors, Library, Subject, Material Type, Publisher, Series, Publication Date, Language, and Journal Title.

Once the search terms and the fields for those terms have been entered, click on Search on the far right of the page to initiate your search. If additional search fields are needed for your search, they can be added or deleted at any time by clicking on the + (plus) or  (minus) icons directly underneath the last row of search fields.

new puc advance

In either your Basic or Advanced Search results you can move your cursor over a record in the list to highlight and then click on it to see further information about that record.

In order to see how to conduct both a Basic and Advanced Search in the new online catalog CLICK HERE to watch a video with a few more details.

To further introduce our members and library patrons to the new online catalog, the APRL will continue to present a series of videos and news items, available here on the APS website. Our next video and news item will deal with how to create and submit a library request to the APRL from the online catalog. Whether you are submitting a request to borrow materials from the APRL collection,  a request to purchase items from our surplus inventory of duplicate material, or if  you are submitting a research request to the library, see how to do all of that in our next video and news item.

As we grow the services of the APRL we hope you explore and enjoy the new platform for the online catalog on Monday February 1 and beyond. For any comments or questions about the new online catalog feel free to contact the library at or