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Getting started - multiple collection searches

The University of Michigan Finding Aids site allows you to select one or more collections, and to submit simple and complex queries against those collections. To conduct a search, follow these steps:

  1. Select a collection or collection group
  2. Add or remove collections from the search (optional)
  3. Enter query terms and submit the form.

1. Select a collection or collection group

Link on Finding Aids home page Fig. 1: Link on Finding Aids home page

From the Finding Aids home page, click the " Browse" link to display the list of available collections (Fig. 1).

The collections are arranged in topical or thematic groups (Fig. 2).

Each group listing consists of ...

A short descriptive title, which is also a link. Click the link to search that group. This will take you to a group search page (see Fig. 3)

A descriptive paragraph.

A list of the collections included withing that group. Click the "collection home" link to enter the "site" for that collection only.

                      collection group Fig. 2: A collection group.

By default, selecting a collection group lands you at the Basic search page. This is the simplest search form, but there is also a Boolean search.

Basic search is the simplest search; it lets you look for a single word or phrase in a designated area of the text. Because it is less specific, sometimes your search results wil be larger than for advanced searches that let you be more specific in your search query.

Boolean search lets you look for combinations of up to three terms or phrases using Boolean connector terms (i.e., AND, OR, NOT).

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2. Add or remove collections from the search (optional)

Immediately below the search form is a list of the collections that comprise the currently selected collection group. Check or uncheck boxes next to each collection to include or exclude it from your search.

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3. Enter query terms and submit the form

Having chosen a collection group and a search type, you can now enter your search query terms. Depending on your search type, you can combine up to three words or word phrases to match in a specified area of the text.

For more about composing effective searches, see Search tips

Related topics:

Search tips