Basic search instructions

Free text search

Start your search by typing your search terms into the search field. As you type, the search will try to predict your term by offering suggestions, such as the title of a book. This may help you find what you are looking for.

Search terms separated by spaces use the AND search logic and will return results containing all of your search terms.

For example:

Jansson Tove

functions identically to

Jansson AND Tove

Preliminary filtering

You can use the drop-down menu in the search field to limit your search to the title, author or subject.

You can further narrow your search on the results page by adding filters such as permissible uses, content type or year of manufacture.

Search phrase examples

Using the free text search to find material on bicycles:


Your search results will be more specific if you use quotes. This will restrict the search to material which feature the exact word “bicycles”:


If you are searching for a phrase or compound noun, use quotes. This way, the search will not interpret the words as separate search terms:

“University of Helsinki”

Using the OR operator will return results that feature one or more of your search terms. This example search will find results relating to farms or farming:

farm OR farming

If you are searching by author, type the last name first and use quotes:

“Jansson Tove”

An asterisk may be used to truncate the search term to yield results with variations of the term, such as: farms, farming and farmland:


Fine-tuning your search

Fuzzy search

Fuzzy search will also yield results that feature words which are similar to your search term.

The search operator ~ will perform a fuzzy search when it is used as the final character of a single-word search.

For example, a fuzzy search with the word roam will also return results with the words foam and roams.


Proximity search

Proximity searches look for material in which the search terms are within a specified distance, but not necessarily one after the other.

The ~ symbol will perform a proximity search when it is at the end of a multi-term search phrase and is combined with a proximity value.

For example, you can use it to search for materials which feature the search terms economics and Keynes within 10 or fewer terms of one another:

"economics Keynes"~10

Range searches

Range searches can be conducted using either curvy brackets { } or square brackets [ ]. When using curvy brackets, the search takes into account only the values between the terms entered, excluding the terms themselves. With square brackets, the terms entered in the range search will also be included.

For example, to find a term that begins with the letter B or C, the following query may be used:

{A TO D}

To find values between 1920 and 1950:

[1920 TO 1950]

Please note that the operator TO between the values must be entered in CAPITAL LETTERS.

Weighted search terms

The search operator ^ will add weight to the search term in a query.

For example, the weight of the term Koivisto has been increased in this search:

economics Koivisto^5

Searching for Cyrillic material

How to search for material written in the Cyrillic alphabet

Cyrillic material has been recorded in the database using the Cyrillic alphabet. Any archaic orthography and grammatical forms have been retained as in the original.

To search using the Cyrillic alphabet, you can use any Cyrillic Windows fonts for Modern Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Macedonian, Bulgarian and Serbian.

In a Cyrillic search, an individual character may be replaced with two percentage symbols (%%).

To receive the broadest search results, transliterate your search terms into the Latin alphabet.

Transliterated search

Enter your search terms using a conventional Latin keyboard. Each Cyrillic character corresponds to a single character in the Latin alphabet. The transliteration in Finna follows the ISO-9 standard, but diacritics are unnecessary.

The following exceptions to national transliteration practices apply:

е = e Ельцин = El'cin
ж = z жизнь = zizn'
з = z Заварзин = Zavarzin
й = j Толстой = Tolstoj
х = h Хармс = Harms
ц = c Цветаева = Cvetaeva
ч = c Чехов = Cehov
ш = s Шолохов = Solohov
щ = s Щедрин = Sedrin
ъ = " объект = ob ekt (haussa " on korvattava välilyönnillä!)
ы = y Лыков = Lykov
ь = ' Гоголь = Gogol' tai Gogol
ю = u юность = unost' tai unost
я =a Яков = Akov
њ = n Његош = Negos
љ = l љубав = lubav
ђ = d Ђинђић = Dindic
ћ = c ћуприја = cuprija
џ = d Караџић = Karadic
Ѣ = e мѢра = mera
Ѳ = f Ѳетъ = Fet"
ѵ = i Сѵнодъ = Sinod"