In the text boxes in the search screen - always visible at the top of the screen - you can initiate a search action by entering a word of combination of words and click on 'search'. Experienced users of automated catalogues or bibliographies will easily find their ways to a meaningful search result. This page is mainly meant to serve less experienced users.

A rule of thumb is: the more specific the search action, the more particular the result. To get a general idea on a specific subject matter entering a term or a combination of terms with 'all keywords' will usually be a good start. You can get more targeted search results by combining different search keys; author, title, keyword, etc. In all input boxes you can use wildcards, '?' for one, '*' for more than character, at the start, end or in the middle of a word or sentence.
All words
Choose All words if you wish to simultaneously search in the fields author, title, keyword, person name and notes.
Names of authors are included in the DBNG the way they are mentioned in the publication (Wim Blockmans, W.P. Blockmans), but also in a standardized version, which makes it easier to find all publications of one author (Willem Pieter Blockmans). To get the most accurate overview you are recommended to enter the last name first, if necessary followed by initials and a wildcard (Blockmans, W*).
Choose Title when you would like to search for the title of a book, periodical, collected work, article or other publication.
This option enables you to search for a keyword from the 'Gemeenschappelijke Onderwerpsontsluiting' (GOO). You can also use the keywords option when searching for publications on a specific city, region, county or country (see also index keywords). The current keyword system has been used for the bibliography since 1995 and has yet only been partly applied to older publications. Therefore works dating back before 1995 are usually not returned when searching by keywords.
Person name
Choose Person name if you would like to search for publications in which specific persons play an important role. By searching this way you will not miss publications in which the name of the person concerned does not appear. Worldly rulers (kings), archbishops and bishops before the 19th century are indexed on first name (see also index on person names). Beware that also in case of Person name pre-1995 publications will not always be linked (see above). It is recommended to combine a person name in 'Person name' and title, with 'OR' (see Boolean search)
Choose Classification if you want to search through articles (from 2005 onwards) and books on a specific subject, by using the 'Nederlandse Basisclassificatie' (see also indices).
When the ISBN of ISSN-number of a publication is known, you can also directly search for it (exlude the '-' in your search).
Publication language
Choose Publication language if you would like to search for a specific language. When searching for Publication language please enter the language code: ned (Dutch), eng (English), spa (Spanish), fra (French), dui (German), ita (Italian), lat (Latin), etc.
PPN is an abbreviation of Pica Productie Nummer. Use this field if you would like to search for this number.

Boolean searching

To narrow down your search results or to broaden it, please use the most frequently used Boolean search operators in the multiple select boxes on the right side of the individual search fields, i.e.: AND, OR, and AND NOT.
Choose this option if you would like to apply the search action AND to the results. By combining search terms in this way, you can narrow down a search action and reduce the number of hits.

Choose this option if you would like to extend the number of search hits. 'Title' 'Scaliger' combined with 'OR' in the next field and 'Title' 'Lipsius' in the fields below returns 170 publications (31 march 2011).

Choose this option if you would like to extend the number of search hits. 'Title' 'Scaliger' combined with 'AND NOT' in the next field and 'Title' 'Lipsius' in the fields below returns 49 publications (31 march 2011).

Printing of results

Search results can be printed out by clicking on Print version. The print option depends on the settings of your local system.


Title list

After performing a search action the result screen appears. In most cases this will be a list with short titles, mentioning the type of publication, title, author and year. The default order is chronological.

Title data

By clicking on a title the full caption appears. Apart from the elements mentioned this screen also displays the publisher, the annotation, the size and the ISBN notation. In case of articles, the title of the periodical or collected work, the editorial board (in case of a collected work) and referred pages are indicated. The title of the periodical or collected work is clickable, in order to navigate to the more extensive data.
Related titles of a periodical or collected work display a short caption of the other publications from the the same work.


A result screen could also include Person names. By clicking on these names further specifications as well as other linked titles to this person appear. These are publications in which the particular person acts as subject.

Icons in the screens with search results

The icons below indicate - in the screens with search results - which kind of publication it concerns.
 online documents
 cd roms
 illustration material
 personal information
 subject data

Further information

- keywords from the 'Gemeenschappelijke Onderwerpsontsluiting' (see also 'Search, keyword') and categories from the 'Nederlandse Basisclassificatie' (see also 'Search, indices') in the box on the righthand of the screen. By clicking on this you will initiate a new search action.
- reference to an online full text or an abstract. In most cases the texts can only be viewed with a personal or cooperate subscription with the information provider.
- source. Indicates if a title originates from the DBNG (Huygens ING), STCN, HinT, Bibliopolis or History Tool (see components of the DBNG).
- availability. By clicking on this option you can detect - by way of WorldCat - in which participating libraries a particular book, periodical or collected work is present. You will need a reference code and a password.


Apart from the regular search facilities the bibliography has three extra access points: indices, maps and a timeline.


Three indices are supported: sections, persons and keywords. You can browse through the lists and use terms from the index in order to perform a search action.


The DBNG also includes a geographical access point, in the shape of a map of the Netherlands. By clicking on a province a list of geographical locations in this region will be displayed, if they appear as keywords to one or more publications in the DBNG. When you click on a geographical location these publications are presented on screen.


The timeline enables you to easily click on a particular period to find related publications. At the same time the era is automatically applied to the search screen, which makes it possible to narrow down the results by entering a word from the title, a keyword or the name of an author.