Search Tips

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Simple v. Advanced Searches

Almost everything you need to search for can be found quickly using the Simple Search. Advanced Search is for very specific searches. Below are a few features of the Simple and Advanced Searches.

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Choice of Full Text, Creator/Photographer, Title, Subject, Description or Call Number for Searches
An Advanced Search can be made on creator/photographer, title, subject, description or call number data, as well as on the full text; to select a search field, click on the appropriate button below the search box. A Simple Search is always made on the full text.

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Single Word Searches
The entry of a single word will yield identical results for almost every type of (simple or advanced) search; the possible exception is the Case-Sensitive search.

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Phrase Searches
In this context, a phrase means two or more consecutive words. The Phrase search is used for the Simple Search; it is also an option of the Advanced Search, for convenience.

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Combination Searches
You can combine search terms by using & for AND, | (pipe) for OR, &! for NOT.

Symbol means Action
& AND Finds only documents containing all of the specified AND words. children & parks finds documents containing children and parks.
| OR Finds documents containing at least one of the specified OR words. children | parks finds documents containing children or parks. The found documents could contain both, but do not have to.
&! NOT Excludes documents containing any of the specified NOT words. children &! parks finds documents containing children but not parks.

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Proximity Searches
This may be especially helpful when some, but not all, the words of a search term are available. For example, edward king of great britain will retrieve Edward VII. King of Great Britain.

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Case-sensitive Searches with Default Truncation
The search term can be truncated at either or both ends. This may be especially helpful for searches on names of people or places. For example, Stereoscopic View Co will retrieve Stereoscopic View Company.

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Too Many Hits
If your search retrieves too many records:

  1. Choose more specific search words.

  2. Use browse lists for Subject, Names, Places, or others. Important terms, used in the bibliographic records of the collection, are on the lists and will link to records containing those terms.

  3. Use the Subjects lists in the bibliographic record display. Each of the subjects will link to a list of records containing that subject.

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Too Few Hits
If your search retrieves too few records:

  1. Choose less specific search words or use synonyms.

  2. Use browse lists for Subject, Names, Places, or others. Important terms, used in the bibliographic records of the collection, are on the lists and will link to the records containing those terms.

  3. Use the Subjects lists in the bibliographic record display. Each of the subjects will link to a list of records containing that subject.

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No Results
If you do not find materials that you think should be included:

  1. Choose words that might have been in greater use when and where the collections were created.
    • Try older language such as Indian for Native American or filling station for gas station.

    • Try alternate spellings such as Gipsey for gypsy.

  2. Use the names of towns, landmarks, bridges, and buildings (e.g. Niagara Falls, Sleepy Hollow).

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Stopwords
Some very common words, such as conjunctions, articles and prepositions (e.g. and, not, the) are ignored.

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Accents/Diacritics
Accents/Diacritcs are not required.

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Punctuation
Punctuation is not required.

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Case
Case of letters (i.e. uppercase or lowercase) is ignored unless you choose case-sensitive searching on the Advanced Search screen.

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Results Listings
Results reflect descriptions of image groups, not descriptions of individual images.

Each page shows the keywords you entered, how many matching records were found, and how many pages of records were returned. At the bottom of each page are navigational buttons which allow you to move among Results pages.

Click on a title or on View Images to view the images described by the record. Click on View Catalog Record to see full bibliographic information. To get back to the images, click on the Back button in your browser or select the link in the Library catalog.

Collection-level cataloging provides economical research access to similar kinds of resources.

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Navigating the Image Pages

The group's first image page contains up to twelve index images; if there are more than twelve index images, there are more index image pages.

Each of the group's index images links to several other views of the image. It is possible to:

  • view any item as a stereo pair (in 3-D with an appropriate viewer);
  • enlarge it for detailed inspection;

  • "turn it over" to read printing or writing on the back.

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