Quick Guide

What is Copac?

Copac is a free online merged library catalogue where you can search the catalogues of the UK national libraries, alongside many University libraries, and specialist libraries such as the Wellcome Trust and the National Art Library at the V&A.

Copac is not just books. You can also find materials in all different formats: books, journals, electronic resources, music and multimedia materials such as DVDs. You can also find rare and unique materials such as early manuscripts and archive materials.

To get hold of most materials, you can organise an inter-library loan through your local public or institution library. For rare and specialist items you may need to arrange a visit to the holding institution.

Why use Copac?

You can use Copac as a resource discovery tool to search for resources not available in your local public or institution library. Librarians and researchers often use Copac to check bibliographic information.

To start searching Copac, go to: http://copac.ac.uk. You will see a search box on the home page. You can choose to do a Quick Search, Main Search or Map Search.

Quick Search

The first time you search Copac, your searching session will open on ‘Quick Search’. This gives you options to search for:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Keyword

Enter your search terms into the search boxes provided, e.g.:

  • Title: “gods of management” or
  • Keyword: impressionists

Put speech marks around your search terms if you want to search for a phrase. (e.g. “gods of management”)

Click on ‘Search’ to carry out your search.

Search results

  • You will see a set of results with brief descriptions of each item and a list of which libraries have copies
  • If you click on the 'magnifying glass' beside the title, you will see a pop up appear, with a preview of the bibliographic details
  • Click on the title of an item to go to the ‘Full record’. This gives you more details about the item

Main Search

If you need further options, you can choose Main Search. (2nd tab).

This allows you to narrow your search. You can now enter information about date, material type, language, ISBN etc.

Avoid adding text into every field as this will narrow down your search too much and you might get 0 results.

Map Search

If you are looking for maps and plans, then you can choose Map Search. (3rd tab).

This limits your search to just maps and plans and you can add place names and map scales to your search.

Sign in to Copac

You can now sign in to Copac. If you are signed in, your search history saves automatically, you can add records to ‘My References’, and see the latest journal table of contents information in the full record display

Username and Password

Click on ‘Sign in’ in the top right hand corner of your screen. You will see the question "Which organisation would you like to sign in with? Start typing the name of your organisation and you will see a list of possibles. Select your organisation and click on continue. Enter your institutional username and password to log in. You can then search Copac as normal.

My References

If you want to add records to ‘My References’, click on the paper clip icon. This is found on the left-hand side of the title. Once you have added items to your ‘My references’ list, you can edit them and add your own tags.

Help and Advice

Online help is provided using the 'Help' option or by clicking on the question mark icon beside each field.

For help or more information contact the Copac Helpdesk:

Email: help@jisc.ac.uk (please state that your enquiry is for the Copac team)
Twitter: @copac