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Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections
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-Help Overview
> Searching this Site
- Searching the Five College Catalog

Primary Source Research Guide
- Introduction
- Getting Started
- Primary and Secondary Sources
- Primary Source Samples
- About Archives
- Finding Aids
- Anatomy of a Finding Aid
Finding Primary Sources
- Resources
- Digital Collections
- Collections on Microfilm
Visiting Repositories
- Preparing for Your Visit
- What To Expect
- Links and Contact Information
Use and Reproduction
- Copyright
- Citing Sources

Searching this Site

  • Multiple terms entered in the search box will be combined with the "AND" operator, so all terms are searched by default.
  • Use quotes to search words as an exact phrase.
  • To find either one term or another, use an uppercase OR operator between the two terms.
  • Wildcard searching can be done using a ? to find a single character, or * to find multiple characters.
    For example:
    hans?n would find the names Hanson and Hansen
    hans*n would find the names Hanson, Hansen, or Hanssen
  • Searches are not case sensitive.

Advanced Searching

The advanced search interface supports fielded searching - the ability to search for terms found within a specific section of the finding aid. It also helps to construct complex Boolean searches, and allows you to limit searches to one or more institutions.

Fielded Searching

Searches can be limited to the following fields:

Scope and Contents Note - a collection-level description of the materials, useful for improving relevance of searches

Biographical/Historical Note - information about the life or history of the creator(s) of the records, useful when searching for information about occupations, industries, or types of people

Subject/Name/Form of Materials - a list of personal, corporate, and family names, subject and geographical headings, and genre terms, useful for improving relevance of searches

Tip for Archivists/Librarians: These correspond to the 6XX and 7XX fields of a MARC record, and the <controlaccess> section of the finding aid. Terms conform to Library of Congress Subject Headings, Library of Congress Name Authority File, and Art & Architecture Thesaurus.

Title of Collection - the collection title includes the name of the records creator and the term "Papers" or "Records" or "Collection", useful for known-item searching

Author/Creator - the person, family, or organization that created the materials found in the collection

Tip for Archivists/Librarians: Currently this searches only the primary creator, or 1XX field of the MARC record and the <origination> field of the finding aid.

Constructing Searches

Up to three pairs of terms and fields can be searched. Grouping of terms within the search box is also supported:

Screen shot showing example of Boolean search.

Tip: To retrieve smaller sets of more relevant collections, follow the example shown above. Use the OR operator to search the same terms in the Subject/Name/Form of Materials field and either the Scope and Contents Note or Biographical/Historical Note field.

Note that the first two term/field pairs are grouped. The following search:

Screen shot showing example of grouping.

is executed as this Boolean search:

((china OR japan) AND mission*)

Limiting By Institution

Select or deselect the appropriate checkboxes to limit your search to collections found at one or more of the contributing repositories.

Screen shot showing example of institutional limiting.

This search would retrieve finding aids for collections held at the three repositories of Smith College.

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Project funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Last update: May 24, 2004