How to Search

Basic Searching

The basic search works pretty much like Google. Enter your search terms on the Basic Search page or in the search box in the site header and you will receive results. The results are listed in order of relevance. Relevance is set to look for multiple words in close proximity to each other and how many times the word(s) may appear in a single document. This search will ususally return the most results.

To search for a phrase or group of words, enclose the search term(s) in quotation marks. Example: "Baltimore Blast".

You can also search for a specific date. The date must be entered in the format of mm-dd-yyyy or 05-15-1967.

Advanced Searching

The information under Basic Searching also applies to Advanced searching, but you can help narrow your search results by using the following search methods.

Search Logic

Our search engine uses set logic for text queries. The examples below make reference to single keywords, but keep in mind that each keyword can represent an entire list of things.

Sets (or lists) of things are specified by placing the elements within parenthesis, separated by commas. Example: (bob,joe,sam,sue) means search for (bob OR joe OR sam OR sue).

The default behavior of the search is to locate an intersection (or 'AND') of every element within a search. This means that the search: "bay bridge dedication" is the same as searching for "bay AND bridge AND dedication".

– (without) - The (minus) is the most commonly used logic symbol. It means the answer should EXCLUDE references to that item. The operator must be attached to the term to which they apply. There must be a space between the and any preceding search term. For example, the search "bay bridge dedication" will find the words bay AND bridge in a document, but will then eliminate any documents that also contain the word dedication.


These options give you control over the region in which a match must be found.

paragraph - search terms must be located within the same paragraph. Note that this could significantly slow down the search.

page (default) - all search terms are located within the same document.

Word Forms

The Word forms options give you control over how many variations of your search terms will be sought in your search.

Exact - Only exact matches will be allowed.

Plural and possessives - Will include all plural and possessive forms of the search term. (s, es, 's)

Any word forms (default) - will search for any word form of your search term.

Search Type Search Term Finds
Exact program program
Plural and Possessives program program, programs, program's
Any program program, programs, program's, programming, programmatic, programmed, programmer, programmable