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Tutorial: TOPCAT, the Library Catalogue: Results

An essential tutorial for understanding how to find what's in our Library.

TOPCAT Results

TOPCAT Results List

When you search TOPCAT, you get a list of results.  The list you get depends upon how and what you searched:

Browse Results

  • Your list is alphabetical: all titles, periodical titles, series titles, author names, or subject headings available in the Library.
  • You're taken to the spot on the master list where your term should be - you can browse the list from there using "next" and "previous".
  • Click on an author to get a list of all items by that author; a title to see all items with that title, etc.
  • Click on the title of an individual item to see the item details - the record.

Keyword Results

  • Your list contains ONLY items that match your search criteria.
  • Originally they're presented with the most recently added items first.  If there are fewer than 200 items, you can sort them using the options at the bottom of the screen (author, title, date, relevance, etc.).
  • Each title in the list links you to the item details (record).

Click on the "Records" above tab for information about the item detail display.

This is a screen capture of the results list for a Title Browse on "monster".

  • It shows all the titles that start with the word "monster". 
  • Move through the list using "Previous" and "Next" in the top menu.
  • The number to the right of each indicates how many items we have with that title.
  • Click on a title to see the item(s).

screen capture of the browse result list

This is a screen shot of the results list from a keyword search.

  • Click on the title of an item for the item details (full record).
  • An icon to the right of each title identifies the type of material: book, e-book, e-resource, journal, media, e-media.
  • The link icon at the bottom of the item links directly to an online resource.
  • Click on the "Keep" box to create a list for printing or emailing.
  • On the right side of the screen there are subject you can use to limit your results. They provide a subset of the results.


Screen shot of the results list from a keyword search.

TOPCAT, like any database, is made up of records.

  • A TOPCAT record is a description of an item in the library.
  • TOPCAT refers to a record as the item details.

Every item in the library has a record in TOPCAT that provides:

  • bibliographic details: title, authors, publisher, publication date
  • the call number
  • number of copies
  • location of each copy. 

Sometimes (depending on the item) there's even more information in a record, like subject headings, book cover images, and descriptions.

Example of "Item Details" for a Book

Here is a screen capture of a record for a book in Bata Library.

  • The basic information appears on the opening screen: title, author, publisher, description. Click the "Catalogue Record" tab for more details, including subject headings.
  • Click the "Keep" box if you want to save this item to a list for printing or emailing.
  • The left side provides options for finding "more like this".
  • The "Item info" specifies that there's one copy and it's at Bata.
  • The "Holdings" provides the call number and the location - stacks. 

We have one copy of this book and it's in the regular stacks at Bata, under the call number HT 421 .R377.

screen capture of a record for a book  in TOPCAT

Detailed View in "Catalogue Record"

Here is a screen capture ot the view when you click on the "Catalogue Record" tab.

  • This title has a detailed description of the book, including the title and author of each chapter.
  • The subect headings applied to the book are shown at the bottom.

screen capture of the catalogue record view in TOPCAT

Item Details for an Online Resource

Here is a screen capture for the item details of an online resource in TOPCAT.

  • The location is "internet".
  • There's a link to the actual item.  In this case it links to the video on the National Film Board site.

screen capture of the item details for an online resource in TOPCAT