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Navigating and searching in ArchivesSpace

What should I know about crafting my searches?

  • Searches are not case sensitive.
  • You may search for phrases by including quotation marks (e.g. “Girl Scouts”).
  • By default, searches with three or fewer search terms return results containing all of the search terms. Searches with four or more search terms return results containing most of the search terms. You may add OR and NOT to change this behavior (e.g. Stiles OR Morse or art NOT British).
  • You may add a tilde (~) to search for search terms within a specified number of words of one another (e.g. “maps Asia”~5 will return results where the term maps occurs within 5 words of the term Asia).
  • “Wildcard” symbols ? and * help return a greater number of relevant results by searching for variant spellings and forms of search terms simultaneously.
  • ? replaces a single letter in a search term (e.g. searching wom?n will return both women and woman, and searching archiv? will return both archive and archivy)
  • * replaces any number of letters at the end of a search term (e.g. searching mission* will return mission, missions, missionary, and missionaries)
  • ? and * may not be used as the first character of a word.
  • To use a wildcard in combination with another search term (e.g. wom?n suffrage), use the + icon to create another row and enter each search term in a separate row.
  • For a search across all of USD's finding aids at once, use search bar on the home page (see first tab).
  • For a search through one finding aid, use search bar on that collection's page (see fourth tab).
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