Guides > Finding Information in the Portal > Advanced Search
Advanced Search provides easy-to-use fields that allow you to specify keywords and phrases and combine them without the need to remember special symbols or punctuation. Advanced Search also provides a number of options for limiting your search.
Finding the Search Screen
You can navigate to the Advanced Search screen from any page by clicking "Search" in the upper right-hand corner of the page, and then selecting "Advanced Search" to the right of the basic search box.
Entering Keywords or Phrases
Type your word(s) or phrase(s) into the Advanced Search dialog boxes. Searches are not case sensitive, so you don't need to capitalize. There are several ways to construct your keyword search:
with these words
Action: Enter one word or multiple words.
Strategy: The more words you enter, the more specific your search will be.
shoes socks girl
with these exact phrases
Action: Enter up to three exact phrases--one per dialog box. There is no need to use quotation marks.
Strategy: The more phrases you enter, the more specific your search will be.
grocery store hurricane katrina
with none of these words
Action: Enter up to three words or three exact phrases--one per dialog box. There is no need to use quotation marks. Any box which contains more than one word will be treated as a phrase.
Strategy: By eliminating words or phrases, you can make the search more specific or clarify the meaning of words or phrases you've already entered in the "with these words" or "with these exact phrases" boxes.
with these words kid
with none of these words gloves leather goat
with these exact phrases civil war
with none of these words north yankee
with these exact phrases civil war
with none of these words human rights
Type your four-digit year(s) into the Advanced Search dialog boxes. This feature allows you to locate items created or published in a particular year or range of years.
within this date range
Action: Enter a four-digit start year in the first box and a four-digit end year in the second box.
Strategy: use this feature to locate items created or published between the years you specify.
Tip: You can also use this feature to specify an exact creation/publication date by entering the same year in both boxes. To retrieve before/after dates, leave one box blank. See the examples below.
1952 to 1958 retrieves range of years 1952 to 1958
1870 to 1870 retrieves exact year 1870
[blank] to 1860 retrieves all years before 1861
1965 to [blank] retrieves all years from 1965 to the present
Targeting Your Search
Limiting Your Search
After you have entered your keywords, phrases, and dates, you can limit your search further by working with one or more of the fields below. Any that you don't want to use can be left on their default settings (all institutions, any language, etc.) in the search form.
Action: Select a partner name from the drop-down list.
Strategy: Use this feature to locate items contributed by a particular organization, department, or individual.
Action: Select a collection name from the drop-down list.
Strategy: Use this feature to locate items grouped into a particular collection.
Tip: If you limit by partner and then also choose a collection that the partner doesn't participate in, your search will not return any results.
Action: Select a language from the drop-down list.
Strategy: Use this feature to locate items presented in a particular language.
Tip: Photographs usually do not have a language unless they picture written material or signs, or they have written captions associated with them as in an album. If you are searching for photographs, you will obtain the most complete results if you leave the language drop-down list set on "any language."
Action: Select a resource type from the drop-down list.
Strategy: Use this feature when you want to restrict your search to a general type of item such as "text" or "image," or a specific type of item such as "journal/magazine/newsletter" or "photograph." Many resource types are included in the drop-down list.
Tip: Atlases usually have the resource type of "book," while maps usually have the resource type of "map."
Finding Plurals and Alternate Spellings
When you enter a search word or phrase containing diacritic characters, they are converted to their closest A-to-Z letter and then submitted to the system. A search for "José María Falcón" will return the same results as a search for "Jose Maria Falcon."
If you are unsure of a spelling, or if you want to broaden your search, you can insert wildcards into your search terms. A wildcard tells the search engine to look for any letter(s) or character(s) in the position of the wildcard.
You can place wildcards anywhere other than the beginning of a word. Use wildcards in searches that contain one word or multiple words, but not in exact phrase searches.
Use a question mark (?) to replace an individual letter or character.
capit?l returns capital, capitol, etc.
sm?th returns Smith, Smuth, Smyth, etc.
s??t? returns Smith, Smuth, Smyth, slate, spates, etc.
Use an asterisk (*) to replace multiple letters or characters.
f*t returns fit, feet, foot, flight, freight, etc.
mcda* returns McDaniel, McDavid, McDavidson, etc.
m*da* returns McDaniel, MacDaniel, Mardale, modality, etc.
You can use both question marks and asterisks in the same query.
str?ng* returns strange, string, strings, strongly, etc.
thom?? je*son returns Thomas Jefferson, Thomie Jepson, etc.
As you can see from the examples above, wildcard searching sometimes produces unexpected results.
We are not currently implementing stemming, so neither regular nor irregular plurals are automatically located in a keyword search. To search for both the singular and plural forms of a word, use wildcards in the position of the letters that would form the plural. For example, searching thes?s will locate both thesis and theses. Searching dog? will locate both dog and dogs, but it will also find words such as Doge. Searching child* will locate child, child's, and children, but it will also find many other words with child as their root such as Childress, Childers, etc.