How to Search

You can apply Boolean search logic to your keywords and terms, using AND, OR, NOT, and parentheses. You can also use specific indexes for your search terms.

To broaden your search:

Put an upper-case OR between your keywords. For example, dust OR bowl retrieves records containing either dust or bowl.

To narrow your search:

  • Put quotes around your keywords to find records with an exact phrase. For example, "dust bowl" retrieves records with the words dust and bowl together, but would not match a description where those two words were not adjacent and in that order.
  • Put an upper-case NOT between your keywords. For example, dust NOT bowl retrieves records containing dust, but not bowl.
  • Put a ~ and a number between 1 and 4 at the end of your exact phrase. For example, "dust bowl"~4 retrieves records where dust and bowl appear within four words of each other.
  • Put parentheses around your search terms. For example, (dust OR bowl) NOT oklahoma retrieves records containing either dust or bowl, but not Oklahoma.

Can I combine indexes?

Though you don't need to do anything special in your search if you are using the default "keyword" index, you can use more specific indexes for your search terms. For example, the search ("mark twain" OR "samuel clemens") NOT location:virginia will match descriptions that include the phrase Mark Twain or Samuel Clemens, and where the archival institution is not in Virginia.

Other Indexes

  • title
    • For MARC records, based on the subfield values found in one title field, with these tags checked in this order (the first tag that has a value is used as the title): 130, 240, 245, 246, 730, 740.
    • For EAD finding aids, based on the value found in the archdesc/did/unittitle, else archdesc/did/titlestmt/titleproper, else archdesc/did/titleproper. For titleproper it favors those with a type attribute of "filing".
    • For HTML finding aids, the value is based on the HTML title element, or on the link title on the harvest site.
    • For PDF finding aids, the value is based on the PDF document title property or on the link title on the harvest site.
    • These varying sources for HTML and PDF titles are configured by OCLC Research for each contributor.
    • Example search: http://beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid/?p=1&q=title%3Amerriweather+title%3A%22oral+history%22
  • archive
    • Contains the name of the archival institution that holds the item or collection. The name is controlled in ArchiveGrid, based on a contributor data management system we use to build the index, to avoid typographic or other variations of the name that could appear in records from the same institution.
    • Example search: http://beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid/?q=archive%3Abuffalo&p=1
  • location
    • Contains the name of the location of the archival institution that holds the item or collection. The location name is controlled in ArchiveGrid, based on a contributor data management system we use to build the index, to avoid typographic or other variations of the name that could appear in records from the same institution.
    • Example search: http://beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid/?q=location%3Avirginia&p=1
  • person
    • For MARC records, based on field 100, 600, or 700. For EAD XML, from ead xml elements persname and famname if they have an encodinganalog attribute of 100, 600 or 700, or from subject if it has an encodinganalog attribute of 600. Not supported for HTML or PDF finding aids.
    • Example search: http://beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid/?p=1&q=person%3Aeinstein
  • group
    • For MARC records, based on fields 110, 610, or 710.
    • For EAD XML, from ead xml element corpname if it has an encodinganalog attribute of 110, 610, or 710, or from subject if it has an encoding analog of 610.
    • Not supported for HTML or PDF finding aids.
    • Example search: http://beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid/?p=1&q=group%3Aresearch
  • topic
  • place
    • For MARC records, based on field 651. This includes entries that are added by OCLC Research for FAST subject headings derived from LCSH headings in the record.
    • For EAD XML, from the ead geogname element and from ead subject with the encoding analog 651.
    • Not supported for HTML or PDF finding aids.
    • Example search: http://beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid/?p=1&q=place%3Abuffalo
  • event