Discover NUSearch at Northwestern University Library

by Christine Scherer

Northwestern University Library has launched NUSearch, a “library resource discovery system” that replaced the previous electronic catalog, NUCat. For the last year, the two systems have run in parallel, with both available to the Northwestern community. But in July, NUCat will be officially retired. With the final transition to the new system only weeks away, it’s important for users to be familiar with all that NUSearch has to offer.

NUSearch allows for users to search for information in almost the entire Northwestern collection. In addition to searching through available books, audio and video recordings, digital archives, and images, NUSearch is integrated with many journal databases, like JSTOR and Project Muse. Rather than having to navigate through multiple databases to find an article, users can enter the information into NUSearch, and it will comb through all the integrated databases to find relevant articles.

On the main search page, users immediately have the option of deciding how to refine their search. They can run their query through the entire NUSearch catalog, or narrow it to either items—books, magazines, images, and so forth—held in the Northwestern Library or to the various article databases. There is also an advanced search option that allows users to further narrow their search.

Another feature of NUSearch is the eShelf. When searching through the catalog, users can click the star icon beside titles of works that they want to save. These items are then saved to a digital basket for later review. In order to save the items for more than one visit, the user will need to log in to the NUSearch system. The eShelf allows users to sort items into folders for easy reference. Users can also save, print, and download items from the eShelf, as well as add notes about items or folders. This is a fantastic tool for anyone doing research and gathering information.

Want more information? Check out the NUSearch FAQ and read the Getting Started Guide. If those don’t answer your questions, contact Tracy Coyne, the Distance Learning Librarian, at or the general library e-mail at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *