Searching Titles Starting with Articles

Changes to Library services during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Searching for titles that start with articles, such as the, an, a, le, la, l', or les, can be difficult. When searching for titles, the catalogue removes any of the above articles that appear at the the beginning of a title. For best results:

  • search for titles without the initial article, (e.g., Outsiders instead of The Outsiders), or
  • use a keyword search to find the title.

Initial words that are not always articles

Some titles begin with words which are articles in one language but not another. For example, "A" is an article in English, but means "to" or "towards" in French (where it functions as a preposition).

If the article is one that is being stripped by the system (a, an, the, le, la, l', les) as in the following titles: A la recherche de Lorca, or An tasten; klavieretuede, retrieval of these titles can be somewhat tricky.

To search for a title beginning with either the, an, a, le, la, l', les when that word is not intended to be an initial article:

  • include the initial article twice at the beginning of the title, as the first occurrence will be stripped by the system, e.g. enter A A la recherche de Lorca, or An An tasten: klavieretuede, or
  • try your title search in the keyword index.
Content last reviewed: December 6, 2018