Help MHS Collection Guides

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Search Help

A search across collections uses Apache SOLR, a powerful searching tool. When you enter a search term in the Search Collection Guides box, the results appear in two columns. The first column provides summary information. At the top of this column, you see the number of hits in each of the three types of collections: manuscript, photograph, and other. Click on one of these if you wish to limit your search to that collection type.

example results from a search on "holmes".

The lower part of column one lists individual collections that contain matches for your search term, with the highest number of matches at the top. Click on a collection name to see all results within that collection.

Column two shows individual collections that match your search term, ranked according to relevance. Collections with matches in titles, collection descriptions, or series headings will be ranked higher than collections with matches only in lower levels of the hierarchy. The number of matches displayed here reflects the number of sections containing at least one instance of your search term. Click on the name of the collection guide to view the guide and automatically scroll to the first appearance of your term.

If your term is found in more than one location within a guide (for example, in the abstract and also in a series description), click "View all results for this collection guide" to see the hits in bold and in context, in the order in which they appear in the guide.

The search results for a single collection, with various clickable parts.

Click "VIEW" to display the collection guide and automatically scroll to the context you chose. Once you are viewing a collection guide, you are no longer using SOLR to search. Use the Find feature to highlight single keywords in a guide. For best results, use the least common keyword, i.e., the surname of Sedgwick rather than the first name Theodore.

Find versus Search

In each collection guide, the search choices are found on the yellow toolbar, accessible via the tab. There are two ways to locate your term in a collection guideā€”Find and Search. The Find feature allows you to highlight every occurrence of your keyword on the page. Use the previous and next buttons to view each highlighted keyword.

The Search button brings up a dialog box. This search uses SOLR's more sophisticated text processing and is able to match words based on their stem. For example, a search for "slave" will also match "slaves." SOLR will also match some phrases the Find feature might miss. The SOLR search accesses data outside of the visual display of the collection guide, and for that reason, matches can only be shown in a list of results and not highlighted in the guide.

Because of SOLR's stemming ability and the hierarchical structure of collection guides, the number of search hits appearing in the results list may not match the number highlighted in the guide. Click through to a guide to see all instances of your original search term highlighted. The SOLR search represents the most thorough form of searching and should be used for more precise research needs.