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How To


How to browse the archive
How to search the archive
Viewing text documents
Do you have historical items to contribute?

How to Browse the Archive

The archive encourages discovery through browsing.  Simply select the "Browse Items" menu tab to explore all of the items comprising this archive.  If you prefer to browse a particular collection, select the "Browse Collection" menu tab. Whether browsing all items in the archive, or all items within a collection, each page will also offer the option to browse by tags or by map location. Few items are currently tagged with map coordinates but we are in the process of adding more. 

How to Search the Archive

The simplest way to search our archives is by using the simple search bar on the upper right of every page.

By default, users can do a simple keyword search: just type in your search terms and hit enter or click the search icon. The search will return any item, file or collection metadata that matches your keyword.

Search options

To access the options for the basic search, click on the ellipses (...) button to the right of the search bar, next to the magnifying glass. You will see two sets of options:

The first set of options allows you to select a query type:

  • Keyword, or general search.
    A keyword search returns results ordered by relevance. Searching on “ancient warfare” will prioritize records that contain the full string “ancient warfare”, but will also include records that contain the individual words “ancient” or “warfare.”
  • Boolean search
    Boolean search does not return results by relevance but allows greater fine-tuning than keyword search through the use of boolean operators such as AND and NOT.

    AND - requires both terms to be in each item returned and thereby narrows a search. If one term is contained in the document and the other is not, the item is not included in the resulting list. Example: A search on Guilford AND Institute returns only those records in which the metadata contains both terms, Guilford and Institute.

    OR - returns all items that match either search term, or both. It broadens the search. Example: A search on Guilford OR Institute will return every item that contains either Guilford OR Institute or the combination.

    Other useful Booleans:
    • +: a leading plus sign indicates that this word must be present in each row that is returned.
    • -: a leading minus sign indicates that this word must not be present in any of the rows that are returned.
    • *: an appended asterisk serves as the truncation (or wildcard) operator. Words match if they begin with the word preceding the * operator.
    • “: a phrase that is enclosed within double quote characters matches only rows that contain the phrase literally, as it was typed.
  • Exact match, which will only find exact matches to the word or phrase you enter.

The second set of options allows users to narrow (or expand) a search to include items, files and/or collections.

Advanced search:

Clicking on the advanced search link at the bottom of the simple search bar will allow users to search (items only) by the specific metadata fields for each item.

Viewing text documents

Document-based items, such as those in the Edith B. Nettleton Historical Room Document Collection, can be viewed as pdfs.  Please be aware that the document preview is an image file and the text will not be highly legible.  However, by clicking the preview image, the pdf will load so that the documents can be read with ease.

How to Contribute

We welcome your historical items for addition to our archive. Please contact the head of the historical room, Danielle Eadevito for more information.