Search Tips

Here are some basic tips to assist you in accessing and navigating the online catalog. If you need assistance, please consult a Supreme Court librarian.

Content of the Online Catalog

The online catalog currently contains records for the Library's collection of general and Florida treatises, periodicals and reference materials. Records for U.S. and state court reports and statutes have not yet been converted to machine-readable format, but will be processed in the near future.

You can begin searching the online catalog by clicking on the Search the Catalog button.

On-Line Searching

There are six search options available on the main menu.

Words in the title searches for keywords in the titles, corporate authors, contents notes, etc. This is the most useful search when you want to find titles that contain certain key words since they can be in any order.

The traditional options are AuthorTitle, and Subject searches.

Author searches should be entered with last name first. For example:

Overton, Ben F.


Ben Overton

Title searches for titles starting with the word or phrase you enter. For example searching for "Practice and procedure" would not return a result of "Federal practice and procedure." For this reason it is usually best to use the "Words in the Title" search option instead.

Author/Title searches for a combination of author's name and individual words from the title.

Subject searches for Library of Congress subject terms used in the bibliographic records.

Call Number searches for the Library of Congress (LC) call number assigned for most titles.


  • Searches can be typed in lower, upper, or mixed case.
  • Initial articles (a, an, the) are ignored in a title search.
  • The word "and" can be spelled out or the symbol "&"can be used instead. The results will be the same..
  • Punctuation (except apostrophes, which are ignored) is treated as a space by the system.

After entering a search term a list of hits will appear. For example, Torts entered as a subject term will retrieve the following:

The term Torts is used by itself in 56 records. It is used in combination with other topical or geographical headings in numerous other records. A listing of the records is retrieved by clicking on the desired heading.

The search will also produce a listing of Related Subjects (See Also's) and See references. Clicking on the first hit will reveal a list of 23 terms that are related to the term Torts.

See references are terms not used by the system. Searchers will most often be re-directed to the appropriate term, such as in fourth and ninth hits shown above.

Additional Search Options

Buttons at the top and bottom of each screen indicate additional options for searching.

  • Extended Display will list the title and call number of each record associated with a subject term.
  • This may be reversed using the Brief Display button.
  • Start Over will bring you back to the Main Menu.
  • Another Search will clear the present search and allow another search within the same index.
  • Pull down menus Subject allow you to change indices, i.e., subject, author, title and then search again.
  • Limit this Search will give you a new search window allowing you to narrow down your search.

You can further limit their search by publication year, or span of years, publishers, and whether the item is located in the title, author, or subject indices. It will also sort the records by year. (The library does not designate "material type" or "language" in its records.)

If your initial search does not produce any results or if the term being searched is not used, the system will redirect you.

For example, a search for the subject phrase "law and legislation" would produce the following screen:


A search for a term not used in any record, such as the phrase law and morals, will produce the following:

Because the catalog is web-based you can use the "Back" and "Forward" navigation buttons on your web browser to jump from screen to screen instead of re-entering search terms.

When searching in the on-line catalog, please pay attention to what you retrieve as you may retrieve more than one reference to the same title.

Also, remember that browsing the surrounding shelves after you've found your materials will help you to find related items. You can do this by "copying" the first half of the Call Number of the item you found and then "pasting" it into a new search for Call Number. You can then see a list of all books with similar call numbers as if you were standing at the shelf browsing the books.

Supreme Court Library

500 South Duval Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399

E-MAIL the Library

In addition to more than 130,000 volumes, the Supreme Court Library houses many historical documents related to the development of the Florida Supreme Court.

On August 13, 1974, the Florida Supreme Court Library became a designated federal depository library.

“This library is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents. Public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law. (Title 44 United States Code)”

Congressionally designated library

Hours and Location

The Supreme Court Library is open to the public Monday - Friday, excluding Court HolidaysPDF Download, from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The library is located in downtown Tallahassee, Florida, directly across from the Capitol building. The mailing address is:

The Supreme Court Library
500 S. Duval Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399