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HUMANITIES DIGITAL INFORMATION SERVICE
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Full-Text Searching Tutorial: Basic Searching

The The Humanities Digital Information Service offers a growing number
of research-quality, fully-indexed humanities texts and a search interface
that allows a wide variety of simple and complex queries.

Basic Searching

Viewing More Context

Finding Texts

[or, go to the Advanced Searching Tutorial ]


 


Basic Searching

Most screens in the search facility have at least a Navigation Bar, a Search Form, and a Book Bag.

Navigation Bar


Click on a button (or on either side of a button with two choices indicated) to access the particular function indicated. The most common of these are:
  • Help offers help for all of the features on the current page.
  • Bookshelf takes you to a list of available databases.
  • Other Searches offers the entire suite of search options available for a particular database.
  • The Outline button expands (+) or contracts (-) the entire Table of Contents to the next level.
  • The Browse button expands the next (or previous) Table of Contents item, or brings up the next
    (or previous) text element in the Table of Contents.

Simple Search

To do a simple search:
  • Enter in the Search Form the word or phrase you wish to search for
  • Word/phrase: 

    Show headers 

    Within entire database  Within checked items (book bag and table of contents) 


    • Note that if you enter a word not followed by a space, then it will be treated as a prefix
      (i.e., searching for the word "sun" will return all occurrences of the word "sun,"
      as well as "suns," "sunny," "sunken," "sundry," etc.).
    • If the word or phrase is followed by a space, then only occurences of precisely that word
      (or of phrases ending with precisely the final word of the search phrase) will be returned.
    • Choose a restricted ("Within entire database") or non-restricted ("Within checked items") search.
  • Click on the Search button
  • Note that the Book Bag normally contains only the phrase "The Book bag is empty"
    until after a text selection is made.
[ To the top || To the Advanced Searching Tutorial ]

Viewing More Context

The results of your search are initially displayed in a Key Word In Context format,
that is, the search word or phrase is shown in a single line with a standard amount
of context on both sides, as in this example:
      ..hollow sunken eyes" Were an all-eaten truth and worthless praise. O how mu..
      .. My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun; Coral is far more red than he..

  • To see more context for any of these matches, including a more complete indication
    of where in the work a match is located, click on the number to the left of that match.


      • Example: 

          Location:

          Oxford Shakespeare

            Electronic Version of The Sonnets

             Sonnet 130

        Sonnet 130

                 My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
                 Coral is far more red than her lips' red.
                 If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
                 If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.


    • The amount of extended context depends on the genre of the work:
      dramas usually display an entire speech, poems a stanza, and prose works a paragraph.
    • Click on the appropriate up-arrow icon to open the corresponding text
      or Table of Contents item.
  • Scroll down the page to see the current set of matches in Key Word in Context format.
  • To see more matches (if there are any) in this same Key Word in Context format,
    accept or change the range of matches indicated, then click on the button
  • To increase the number of matches shown per screen, select the desired number and click on the button
  • To save these matches on your own machine or floppy disk, click on the button

    and select a filename and location as prompted by your browser.
    The file will be in plain text format of this Key Word in Context display.
[ To the top || To the Advanced Searching Tutorial ]

Table of Contents

Expandable Tables of Contents appear in various forms throughout the search facility.
Use these buttons to navigate a Table of Contents:

  • Up-arrow icons: click to go to the indicated level of the database structure.
  • Open folder icons and checkboxes: click on the checkbox to restrict your search to this item.
    This icon represents the "container" of the item(s) listed next in the Table of Contents.
  • Closed folder icons and checkboxes: click on the checkbox to restrict your search to this item,
    or on the icon itself to reveal the contents of the item.
  • Text icons and checkboxes: click on the checkbox to restrict your search to this item,
    or on the icon itself to read (browse) this text.
    This icon represents the lowest-level structural item in the database,
    that is, a piece of text. It cannot be expanded further.
  • The Browse button on any Navigation Bar expands the next (or previous) Table of Contents item,
    or brings up the next (or previous) text element in the Table of Contents.


Finding Texts

  • Databases:  Texts are grouped into large generic or thematic databases,
    for example, African-American Poetry and English Prose Drama,
    into databases of the works of some individual authors,
    or into occasional special databases of readings for specific courses.
    • See the complete list of HDIS databases here.
      This list is also available by clicking on the Bookshelf button of the search application's Navigation Bar.
    In the present implementation, it is only possible to search within a single database;
    databases cannot be combined for searching.
     
  • Individual Authors and Titles can be found by various means:
    • Expand the Table of Contents items within a database which covers an appropriate time period and genre.
    • Several of the larger databases, notably African-American Poetry, American Poetry and English Poetry,
      have separate author-title lists linked from their respective pages.
      • Note that these lists do not provide direct links to individual texts or authors
        within the searchable database; you must still go to that database and use its Table of Contents
        to search or browse the texts themselves.
    • Explore the detailed author-title list of what's available through HDIS.

[ To the top   ||   Next page: Advanced Searching Tutorial ]

Comments to HDIS



Last modified: February 12, 2007

   
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