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  • Searching Multiple Terms: All terms entered into the single search box designated as Any Field will be combined into a single Boolean "and" search, internal to one manuscript.

    For example, searching on "Italy green Phillipps" in an Any Field box will seek manuscripts containing "Italy," "green" and "Phillipps" in one single manuscript but across any number of fields within the description. The same results obtain if the search is performed utilizing three different Any Field boxes, one each to contain "Italy" and "green" and "Phillipps." Thus, "Any Field" is equivalent to "All Fields."
  • Searchable Fields: You may limit a search to a specific field from among Shelfmark, Author, Title, Docket, Language, Provenance, Binding, Caption (see the Data Dictionary [.doc] for definitions and examples of these fields), or to any combination of three of these fields. Multiple terms in any so-filtered search will be treated as if connected with the Boolean operator "and"; the search will find the occurrences of those words within a single field.

    For example, if the search is limited to Caption, and the terms are "Green Peter," the result will be a caption in which St. Peter and a green initial are mentioned; there will be no results that either pull out the string "Green Peter" as a unit (there is no phrase searching), or that scatter the two words across many fields in a single manuscript description (such as Acknowledgments to Peter Kidd, and Binding with green silk fore edge ties).
  • Date Searching: Using the radio button, choose either Range of Dates, or Single Date.
  • Date Range Searching: You may specify any 3-digit or 4-digit year in either of the two Date Range boxes (with the larger number in the second position) and the search will pull all manuscripts whose BeginDate or EndDate (either one!) falls within that range.

    For example, a search on Earliest Date = 900 and Latest Date = 999 will result in answers not only for manuscripts dated to the 10th century (900 - 999), but also those dated to the turn of the ninth to the tenth century, 890-910, because "910" falls between 900 and 999.
  • Single Date Searching: This search performs in the same way as the Date Range Searching, in that the results will offer records in which the chosen year appears within a given span of years.

    For example, a search for "1492" will retrieve all the manuscripts catalogued as having been copied within the 15th century (1400 - 1499), all those copied within the second half of the century (1450 - 1499), all those copied within the fourth quarter of the century (1475 - 1499), all those copied at the end of the century (1480 - 1499), and all those copied at the turn of the century (1490 - 1510).

    If you wish to find only the manuscripts that are dated precisely to 1492 by their scribes, you can slightly narrow the search by adding to the above Single Date Search, the choice Dated = Yes (by clicking on the radio button). The results will, however, show all dated manuscripts in the above ranges.

    Follow this link [.doc] for a table of date equivalents as used in Digital Scriptorium.
  • Truncation: Search terms are automatically truncated on both ends, but a wild card (such as *) can be used at the end of a word to open the search in that direction. For example, a search on "Ege" will result only in the manuscripts owned by Otto Ege, and will not pull the records that contain the word "college." The search "*Ege" is not understood by the computer as any different from "Ege," whereas "Ege*" produces the Otto Ege material, as well as references to "Egeria," "Egerton" and the verb "egerunt."

    Note that the computer ignores punctuation in a search, so that "Ege" and "Ege?" are equivalent. This is not the case with the addition of the single letter that makes a word plural (although it may seem an invisible difference to an English-speaker): "dog" occurs (at this writing) nineteen times; "dogs" comes up five times, with no overlap; "dog*" occurs 57 times because it includes dog, dogs, dog-headed, dog-like, doge, dogma, and Dogmersfield.
  • Wildcard Searching: Wildcard characters can be used anywhere in the search term. To wildcard only one character use ? (e.g wom?n for woman or women); for one or more characters use * (e.g. Epigram* for Epigrammata or Epigrams).
  • Phrase Searching: At this stage it is not possible to use phrase searching (offset with quotation marks in order to obtain a specific string of words in a given order). The closest that one can come to this is the Boolean "and" search for multiple terms within a filtered field choice (see above at Searchable Fields), whereby at least all the specified words will lie within one field, albeit not necessarily in the given order.
  • Result Displays: The first and shorter result display provides a header for the Manuscript citation (City, Institution, Library, Shelfmark) followed by information for the Part of the manuscript in which the hit(s) occur: Part Number, Number of Leaves, Country of Origin and Date of Origin. In these two lines of information, hits are highlighted in red. Hits that occur in any fields other than these will be appended with their field name. For each resulting manuscript, links lead to the Full Record and directly to All Images. The second result set (which is to say, the Full Record) contains the full description of the manuscript with a link marked by "View All Images" to a captioned lightbox of available images.
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  • Browse Lists: You may browse by Location or Languages. "Location" is shorthand for the complete repository information: City, Institution (if any), Repository.
 
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