Keyword Searching

SearchingKeyword SearchingKeyword Searching

Keyword searching works best when you enter a single word or two words.

Search Type Description Examples
Connectors Use and to search both wordsUse or to search either wordUse not to exclude words Ludlow and massacre

railroad or railway

gold not mines

Phrase Use quotation marks to search an exact phraseUse a combination of quotation marks and connectors to limit a search to articles that contain a phrase, and either do or do not contain other words “gold mining”“silver mines” and Leadville (will retrieve all articles that contain both the phrase “silver mines” and the word Leadville)“silver mines” or Leadville (will retrieve all articles that contain either the phrase “silver mines” or the word Leadville, but not both)

“silver mines” not Leadville (will retrieve all articles that contain the phrase “silver mines” but not the word Leadville)

Truncation / Wild Card Use an asterisk at the end of a word to find all forms of the wordUse an asterisk in front of a word to find all forms of the word. cannibal* and Packer (will retrieve articles that contain all words that start with cannibal, and also contain the word Packer. So, the search finds cannibal and Packer, cannibals and Packer, cannibalism and Packer, cannibalistic and Paker)wom* (Finds alternate spellings: woman and women)*phone (Finds phone, telephone, gramophone, etc.)
Common words Do not search using the following common words: a, an, at, the, all… “Gre* war” (Because the word ‘great’ is too common in the database, use the asterisk to find articles on the Great War (World War I, 1914-1918.)
Punctuation Do not use apostrophes (‘) or other punctuation in searches. (See the special use of asterisks and quotation marks above) Denvers
Spelling Check to see that your search words are spelled correctly, however misspellings are frequently found in newspapers so if you don’t find the term, try an alternate spelling.
Abbreviations Abbreviations are sometimes used in early newspaper articles. Example: Wm. for William or ry for railway

August 18, 2015
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