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To do a search:

  1. Type words that must appear in the field(s) being searched
  2. Click the Search button
  3. Records that meet your criteria are displayed as a report

Finding words and phrases

Type the word(s) you want to find (computer software database). Additional options:

To find



variations of a word (computer, computing, computation) the beginning of the word followed by * comput*
words together, in order a phrase within quotes "computer software"
either word (or both) OR between the words computer OR software
both words, anywhere the words separated by a space computer software
one word but not another word space-hyphen immediately before the word to exclude computer -software
words near each other (within a specified number of words) wN between the words, where N is the number of words computer w5 software
words near each other in order (preceding within a specified number of words) pN between the words, where N is the number of words computer p5 software

The query is evaluated in left-to-right order. For example, red white OR blue finds items that contain "red" and "white", as well as items that contain "blue". Use parentheses to control evaluation order: For example, red (white OR blue) finds items that contain "red" and "white", as well as items that contain "red" and "blue".

Finding a Date

Type a full or partial date in any acceptable format. See some examples below. If there are spaces or slashes within the date, enclose it in quotes.


"Dec 31, 2006"


"December 2006"


Range searches

To find all dates or numbers within a specified range, separate the dates or numbers with a colon (no spaces). If partial dates are used, the range includes all dates from the beginning of the first date to the end of the second. Examples:

1997:1998 returns all dates from Jan. 1, 1997 through Dec. 31, 1998 (inclusive)
"March 2005":"April 2005" returns all dates from March 1, 2005 through April 30, 2005 (inclusive)

Note that the second example above will not work in a query box that also searches text fields, because the first term, while chronologically before the second, is alphabetically AFTER the second, and will trigger an error. In this situation, use a numeric date format with the year appearing first, for example:


Reset button

To clear query criteria, click the Reset button on the search screen.

Submit Query button

To start your search, click the Search button.

Displaying Records after a search

A successful search finds one or more records, which are displayed in your Web browser as a report. Use the browser controls as you normally would, to browse, print, go back, and so forth. You can also:

Using the Browse Terms buttons

To make searching the textbase easier, you can use the "Browse Terms" buttons to add index entries into boxes on the Web query page.

The "Browse Terms" button shows the Term or Word index for the first field searched by the box. Entries in the "Browse Terms" browser are actual indexed entries from the textbase for that field. If a box contains more than one field, you can select the field whose index you want to see from the drop-down list.

If a field in the search box has both a Term and Word index, you can specify which you want to view by selecting the Terms List or Words List option button.

To browse and add validation list entries

  1. Scroll through the list of choices, or type one or more characters in the Find box and click the Find button if one is available
  2. Select one or more items from the list, then click the appropriate button:
  3. Click Close to exit  Browse Terms

NOTE: The default action is to combine multiple pasted search terms with OR. This is normally what you want to happen. If you would like all the pasted terms to be present in your search, simply delete the word OR from the search box.


If you are having trouble with a search, some of the most common problems are listed below. If you do not find an answer to your problem here, see WEB_MSG.HTM, which lists error messages in alphabetical order.

You see a message "Unable to recognize as a correctly formed query."

The program cannot understand the search criteria. Possible problems include:

If you cannot determine what caused the error, try a simpler search (for example, just a few words in a box) to see if it works. If even simple searches do not work, contact the Webmaster for the site.

You see a message like "Range operation is incorrect because 'may-2006' is not less than 'jun-2006'. "

A range search is performed between two terms separated by a colon. If you are not attempting to do a range search, omit the colon or surround the term with quotes. Example:


This message may also appear if you entered a date range search in a box that also searches text fields, and while the first date may precede the second chronologically, it does not precede it alphabetically. Use a numeric format instead. Examples: