Finding CDs, LPs and Videos

The Music Library has more than 30,000 catalogued CDs, shelved by accession number. Our collection grows more  slowly, given the availabilty of streamed audio (both subscribed audio and YouTube).

To search for recordings, use the ADVANCED SEARCH feature of the Western Libraries OMNI catalogue. Here are a few tips and tricks depending upon the genre you seek:

To enhance your success rate include the keyword 'COMPACT' to narrow your search results to only CDs.

To Find Classical Instrumental CDs

Include in your KEYWORD search:

  • Composer's surname
  • Keyword COMPACT to narrow your search results to only CDs
  • Boolean "AND" is unnecessary. A single space = "AND" in your search strategy
  • Plural of the genre (e.g. sonatas, even if you want only one)
  • Name of the instrument, if applicable
  • If you seek a CD of music for two or more like instruments, then say so, e.g. clarinets

You may also find it helpful to include:

  • OPUS or thematic catalogue number for the work (eg. 31 if you want any of Beethoven's Op. 31 sonatas - use numerals/digits ONLY, and omit: op, op., BWV, K., etc.)
  • Unique or distinctive word from the title, if applicable
  • Performer's name (e.g. Schiff, or Brendel, or Goode)


To Find Popular Music CDs


  • Title of the desired song in quotation marks - e.g. "SCENTLESS APPRENTICE"
  • Name of the group or performer - e.g. NIRVANA
  • One space (one space = "AND") to connect keywords and (phrases-in-parentheses)


For pop music, you may find it useful to search by author:

To Find Classical Vocal Music CDs (Songs or Arias)


  • Title of the song or aria within double quotation marks - e.g. "GRETCHEN AM SPINNRADE"
  • “AND” to connect KEYWORDS and (phrases-in-parentheses)
  • Composer's surname
  • The keyword COMPACT to narrow your search results to only CDs


You may also find it useful to include:

  • Performer's name (e.g. Bartoli, Otter, Pavarotti, or Ramey)


If you do not find a desired aria:

  • Delete your "Title in quotation marks"
  • Include the OPUS or thematic catalogue number for the larger work (e.g. "626" if you seek any aria from Mozart’s Requiem, KV. 626)
  • Add a unique or distinctive word from the title of the larger work

To Find Records (i.e. "long-playing" LPs)

Call numbers for all LPs (black vinyl, long playing records) in the Music Library start with either "Rec" or "MTR". There appears to be no reliable search-string to find LPs-only, but the search examples (below) get one close!

Follow the same instructions for finding CDS but substitute the word "SOUND" for "COMPACT".


To remove all CDs from your result:
Note the use of quotation marks within parentheses, plus the phrase "AND NOT":

To Find Video Recordings


  • Keyword "VIDEORECORDING" or "VIDEO*" to narrow your search results to only videos
  • A space to connect your KEYWORDS (one space = boolean "AND")

Plus one or more of the following:

  • Unique or distinctive word(s) from the title or subject
  • Composer's surname, if applicable
  • Performer's name (e.g. Bernstein, Rattle, etc.) if applicable


  • Limit your search by setting Material Type to "videos".


Call numbers for all VHS video-recordings in the Music Library begin with the prefix "MVD". You may browse this collection in-library, as the MVDs will be found on the shelves which are found after the New Books shelf in the Music Library. You may browse online by doing a call number search on the prefix MVD.

If you seek the Music Library's collection of DVD videos, search on the call number prefix of MDVD and browse through the listings as found on the Shared Library Catalogue.