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How to Search AustLit

  • Searching for a person, groups of people, organisations, and publishers

    This search box allows you to search for a person or organisation by name or persons and/or organisations with similarities and expands to allow you to refine your search.

    Click the arrows to reveal the dropdowns

  • This element allows for combination searching to return results that are the records of people.


    Female expats – choose Female from the dropdown Gender menu and Expatriate by ticking the box by clicking in it.

    Literary societies established in the 19th century – type 'society' in the Name box and 1800-1899 in Year of Birth. Click to tick the Organisation box.

    People who belong to the Pitjantjatjara people - use Heritage.

    The 'Word/s in' searches are targeted keyword searches of biographies and notes that may find, say, authors who attended University.

    Use this search component in combination with others to refine your search or when you have only partial information.

    Author/title searches are the simplest of these but you can also track down the identity of your fellow surfer Tim who says he writes novels set in Western Australia (see Combination Searches for more).

    Boolean Searching (AND, OR, NOT)

    Clicking the plus (+) button on search boxes adds another search box for immediate use in an AND search combination.

    The arrow that appears when you add another search box lets you toggle between 'AND' and 'OR'.

    Now you can see two kinds of minus (-) buttons.

    Both boxes feature the (-) button on the left. Clicking this turns the box red to indicate the word contained will be excluded from the search (a NOT search).

    The (-) on the right will remove the search box.

    See more about this option.

    If you search out of the People/Organisation component results will return with people and organisations (rendered in blue) on the 'top'. Click the WORKS tab for works associated (orange) and ALL to get a list of all results.

  • Searching for Organisations

  • Similarly, you can search for Organisations with specific characteristics.

    To restrict your results to Organisations click to tick the 'Limit search to organisations' box.

  • These searches work exactly as those above for people. Organisations have histories instead of biographies, and dates of establishment and cessation instead of birth and death dates.

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