Digital South Asia Llibrary
Search Tips for Bibliographic Searches
Basic searching Results
Boolean searching Search all bibliographies at once
Field definitions
Looking up a word (basic searching)
To look up a word or term, type it in the box and click the Search button. All searches are case insensitive. A search for Oriya will bring back the same results as a search for oriya.
Boolean searching
The Boolean operators 'and' and 'or' are supported in the bibliographic databases. Currently the operator 'not' is not supported. Boolean searching allows for combinations of words to be searched throughout individual bibliographic entries. Boolean searching does not span across entries. For instance, to find definitions that include both of the words Sanskrit and Telugu, the following should be entered into the "Quick search" box: Sanskrit AND Telugu. To find entries that have one word or another, say Chennai or Madras, the following should be entered into the Quick Search box: Chennai OR Madras.
Boolean searches work for all of the search boxes (author, title, subjects, series and date).
Field definitions
The bibliographic databases all contain many of the same fields and each database also differs from others in some ways.
The Quick Search will search through all fields, including fields that are not searchable alone. For instance, shelf numbers and call numbers can be searched in the Quick Search box.
The Author search will search through added entries, additional names, contributors, etc. In the case of the International Union List of South Asian Newspapers and Gazettes the field is called "Personal Name" and includes publishers, owners, printers and others who have names associated with newspapers.
Title will search through the title field, the uniform title (if the data is in MARC format), additional title, and title variations.
A Subject search includes data in the subject field, the notes field, and the keyword field.
Date and Language searches do not expand past the fields 'date' and 'language.'
Searched for terms are highlighted in yellow on the results page.
The total number of results from the search is given at the top of the page, eg. "Your search of the Oriental and India Office Collections returned 406 references." The search queries that are sent to the database are very efficient, for this reason we allow all of the results to come back to the user's machine. If the number is too great there is a 'Refine your search' button which brings the user back to the search screen with the appropriate values from the last search already filled in.
Search all bibliographies at once
This search is designed for the user who does not necessarily know where the information they are interested in might be located. Our bibliographic databases are organized around specific collections and often times users do not understand what is included in each database. For instance, if one was looking for any monograph titles by or about Mahatma Gandhi, a Quick Search for Gandhi would bring back results from all of the included databases.
Results from the 'Search all the bibliographies at once' are shown in groups of five. Each database will have the first five results listed. A user can choose to have the full set returned by clicking on the button "Try the full search."
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