Special Characters

The e-library supports 256 characters in its full bibliographic record. However, not all computers can display all 256 characters.

Transliterated Characters

The following table contains transliterated characters as well as the replacement characters to use when searching a term containing a transliterated character.

Special Transliterated Character Name Replacement Character
Polish L (uppercase) L
Polish l (lowercase) l
Scandinavian O (uppercase) O
Scandinavian o (lowercase) o
Icelandic thorn (uppercase) B
Icelandic thorn (lowercase) b
D with crossbar (uppercase) D
d with crossbar (lowercase) d
digraph AE (uppercase) AE
digraph ae (lowercase) ae
ligature OE (uppercase) OE
ligature oe (lowercase) oe
O hook (uppercase) O
o hook (lowercase) o
U hook (uppercase) U
u hook (lowercase) u
musical flat b


When marks of punctuation are included in a search expression, the e-library either replaces the punctuation marks with spaces, or searches variations of the search expression containing the punctuation, or ignores the punctuation marks. To search a punctuation mark as a literal character, enclose the expression in quotation marks.

The e-library searches periods (.) based on how this punctuation mark displays in the search expression. If the period does not mark the end of a sentence or if the period is not used as a decimal mark within a numeral, the period is replaced with spaces. If the period is used as a decimal mark, it is not replaced with a space. For example, the title Vacationland U.S.A. will be searched as VACATIONLAND U S A.

The e-library also replaces commas (,) within a search expression with a space. For example, the title Goodbye, Columbus, and Five Short Stories will be searched as GOODBYE COLUMBUS FIVE SHORT STORIES.

Search expressions containing hyphens (-) are searched with the hyphen included. A search without the hyphen displays words both with and without the hyphen. For example, the title Camp-fire Girls will be searched as CAMP-FIRE GIRLS. Only titles that include a hyphen between Camp and Fire will display. To broaden the search to include the phrase "Camp Fire" with and without the hyphen, use CAMP FIRE GIRLS.

The e-library ignores the circumflex (^) in search expressions.

The following table contains additional special characters. These characters do not affect searching. Some of these characters are replaced by a space; some are ignored.

Punctuation Name Punctuation Mark Replaced With
accent ` space
ampersand & (ignored)
(single quotation mark)
' (ignored)
asterisk * space
at (each) sign @ space
back slash \ (ignored)
brackets [ ] spaces
colon : space
exclamation point ! space
forward slash / space
number sign
(pound sign, musical sharp)
# space
percentage sign % space
plus + space
semicolon ; space
tilde ~ space
underscore _ space


More Searching Tips
Keyword Index Synonyms
Specified Entries
Substitution and Truncation