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Universiteitsbibliotheek – LibGuides

PiCarta (EN): Get going

What is PiCarta?

PiCarta contains titles of books (but note: almost no e-books), journals, articles and other types of material held by Dutch libraries. The material may be scientific as well as non-scientific.

PiCarta comprises the Dutch-Union Catalogue (Nederlandse Centrale Catalogus, NCC), tables of contents of journals and a number of bibliographical databases.

The NCC gives access to the collections of  approximately 400 libraries in the Netherlands:

  • all university libraries
  • the Dutch national library (Koninklijke Bibliotheek)
  • large public libraries
  • libraries of various institutions

Access to PiCarta

Utrecht University staff and students have access to PiCarta, via the list of search engines. PiCarta can be found under Quickly go to.

Other library users, including alumni and external PhD students, can get an access code to PiCarta by opening an ILL-account at the service desks of Utrecht University Library.

Useful for?

PiCarta may help you  to acquaint yourself with a subject.

Because PiCarta contains so much material, you will get an overall picture of available publications in the Netherlands. Under the tab 'available at' you will find where the publications are housed.

If lots of books on your subject are available in another library, you may consider visiting that library. You will find the addresses in PiCarta.

Search tips

  • For a specific publication or its reviews: combine title words and name of the author
  • For an exact phrase, put it between inverted commas
  • If you are searching by subject, use an asterisk to break off the word (*): in this way you will get all variations of the word (nouns, adjectives, compounds)

Simple search: search field or pull-down menus?

Search is the default setting, but we recommend Search with pull-down menus. To unfold this extra boxes, click on 'more'.

Menu 1 
         * search [and] (default setting)
         * search [or]: to combine equivalent seacht terms (synonyms, translations)

Menu 2: 
         * limit your search results by selecting 'title words' only         
         *together with menu 1: scan the index (to browse an index), then menu 2. choose which one.

 Menu 3 (sort by): 
         * relevance (default setting)
         * year of publication (results sorted chronologically)


In this way you can improve your search results

Advanced search: two options

1. Tab Search filter (default setting)

  • Enter words in one or more search fields. Combine them by:
  • AND (default setting); all words occur in the results   
  • OR: one of the words occurs in the results
  • AND NOT: in this way you exclude words from the list of results
  • Sort by year of publication for a chronological presentation of the results
  • Select one year or a particular period in the field 'Year of publication'
  • Select type of publication (untick all boxes first, then make your choice)

2. Tab Subjects

Here you will find an overview of subject categories in Dutch (GOO codes). For each subject you will find the number of titles with this keyword. By clicking on it the results will be shown.

In this way you can improve your search results

Does Utrecht University Library have the publication?

The UBU link is a link to the collections of the library. Look for this icon UBUlink. With one click you can check if a publication is in Utrecht, in electronic or print format.

When the library does not have the publication, you have several options.

Types of material


 Periodicals/series (printed)

Periodicals/series (online)


Online resources

Sheet music











Facts and figures

  • Contents: printed/online, books/journals, scientific/non-scientific
  • Coverage: most recent up to old prints
  • Size: +/- 400 Dutch libraries
  • Subject coverage: all
  • Default search method: search [and]
  • Default order: relevance
  • Truncation by word stem with *
  • Coming from: library catalogues and bibliographical databases