Help With Searching

Browsing

Users can browse the collection by chamberdecade, or year by clicking on the applicable link from the homepage. Users can also change their browse option from within the ArchivalWare interface by clicking on the “Browse” link.

Searching

Patrons are able to perform full-text searches of Wyoming Legislation from the homepage. More advanced search options are available inside the ArchivalWare interface. These advanced options are explained in greater detail below.

General Search Tips

  • Searches are not case sensitive, so capitalization is unnecessary
  • All searches automatically retrieve both singular and plural forms of words
  • Use quotes to search for a specific Phrase or name
  • If you get large result sets, Narrow results using the “search within current results” checkbox
  • Use the main search box to search for keywords within the Full text of publications
  • Browse for publications by going to Browse
  • Customize your searching, sorting, and viewing options using Preferences

Similar Concepts Search

Concept searches will find search words and phrases as well as related concepts. For example, in a concept search for the term “cow” the system will also search for related terms, for example, “cattle”.

Pattern Search

Pattern searches will find both exact search terms and terms with similar spellings. This type of search is helpful in retrieving terms or names with alternative spellings or common misspellings. For example, a pattern search for the term “secretery” will also search for alternative spellings, such as “secretary” or “secretaries”.

Keyword (Boolean) Search

(AND, OR, NOT, WITHIN, ADJ)

Boolean searches will find the exact keywords entered in the Search For box. To narrow the results of a search, words can be combined with Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT, WITHIN, and ADJ) to retrieve relevent materials. To conduct more complex searches use Parentheses to combine sets of words and Boolean operators.

Boolean operators Description Example
AND retrieve a list of items where Word1 (Labor) and Word2 (Union) both appear in the text Labor AND Union
OR retrieve a list of items where either Word1 (Labor) or Word2 (Union) appears in the text Labor OR Union
NOT retrieve a list of items where Word1 (Union) but not Word2 (Pacific) appears in the text Union NOT Pacific
WITHIN retrieve a list of items where Word1 (Union) appears within N (1,2,3,4,etc) words of Word2 (Railroad) Union Railroad WITHIN 2
ADJ retrieve a list of items where Word1 (Pacific) and Word2 (Company) appear within N (1,2,3,4,etc) words of each other and Word1 must appear before Word2 in the results. Pacific Company ADJ 2
Complex Search pair multiple words with multiple Boolean operators to retrieve a list of items where all the words appear within close proximity to each other in one item (“coal miners”) and (labor AND union) and (strike OR boycott) WITHIN 50

Wildcard Search

Use wildcard characters (*, ?, [search expression], _, @, #, \, ^ ) to substitute part of a word, name, or number, or to search for multiple terms. Wildcards can be used in Concept or Boolean mode, in keyword search or field entries, in multiple words, and even multiple times in one word. See examples:

Wildcards Description Example Result
_ match one or zero characters colo_r color, colour
@ match exactly one alpha character gr@y gray, grey
# match exactly one numeric character #600 1600, 8600
\ take the next character literally, not as an operator name\@ptfs.com name@ptfs.com
* match anything or nothing scholar* scholar, scholarship
? match exactly one character wom?n woman, women
^ match any character except the next character 200[^7] 2006, 2008, 200G
[ ] search expression; can include a hyphen to indicate a range of letters or numbers; will match only one character within the brackets 200[6-8] 2006, 2007, 2008

Mixed Search

Mixed Search allows you to use the pattern searching capabilities with Boolean operators and ranks the results. Mixing or combining any of the above search types (Pattern, Concept, or Boolean) by entering special operators (“”, ~, !) causes the terms with operators to be treated differently from the rest of the query terms. For example, history ~secretary in Boolean or Concept mode does a pattern search on only the word secretary, child “labor” in a Concept or Pattern search keeps the word labor from being expanded, and the use of “Women’s Bureau” keeps specific search words from being expanded when in Concept or Pattern mode.

Grouped Term Search

A Grouped Term Search improves the search accuracy. It is a query (Pattern or Concept) in which terms related to a common concept are grouped together with parentheses in order. The words within the parentheses are expanded, matched, and ranked for relevance as a group, instead of as individual words.

Advanced Search Options

Customize your search by going to Advanced Search Options and checking on the box next to the fields you wish to search by. Sort your results list by the options you like, such as sorting by relevancy rank, number of hits, title, or publication date, etc Change the display of your results list to row, column, or thumbnail format under the Result List Display Format option. Save Changes to enable your new options.

Field Search

Use the Field Search to limit your search to fields such as City or Month or Page. Use this type of search when a keyword search retrieves too many documents. The order of the words you enter does not matter (words are searched as keywords within a field or fields, not as a phrase from left to right).

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