Help Page

This Help Page is associated with the Brooks Free Library Historical Newspaper search site, and includes descriptions of various features of this specific site, as well as links to short instructional videos.

Home Screen Help Video | This video will help familiarize new users with the Home Page links, and explain the General Search function of the EXPLORE link.

ADVANCED SEARCH Help | This video will help familiarize users with the use of date control and the WordWheel fields and other features of ADVANCED SEARCH.

Here are the rules for successful search using our Precise Search syntax ;

Precise Search Syntax

The following are valid searches

To find documents with the exact word, enter only the word into the Search Dialogue box: i.e., Traffic, then press SEARCH

To find documents containing an exact phrase, enter the phrase with no symbols: i.e.,

Traffic Circle, then press SEARCH

Precise Search utilizes Boolean Operator syntax for accurate complex searches. Boolean Operators are words, not symbols, and do not require the use of italics, parentheses or quotation marks. The Boolean operators are and, or, not, and near.

Enter Boolean Operators as follows:

  • document and region
  • document or region
  • document and not region
  • not region

Removing the power of Boolean Operators

If you want to search for a phrase that includes a Boolean Operator (for instance, black and white) you first have to remove the Boolean power of the word and. To do so, simply enclose the Boolean operator in quotation marks.

  • traffic “and” circle – will find the phrase “traffic and circle”, while traffic and circle will find each page that includes both the words traffic and the word circle.
  • to be “or” “not” to be, will find “to be or not to be”

Proximity Searches

  • Traffic near circle finds newspaper pages with the word traffic within 10 words of the word circle
  • Traffic near(5) circle finds newspaper pages with the word traffic within 5 words of the word circle Users can substitute any other number up to 100 for the number 5, and get the appropriate result.

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