You can search for texts from anywhere on the Brevier Legislative Reports site by using the search form in the top right corner of the site above the banner image. This form will conduct a search for your search terms anywhere within an item.

Search allows you to search on up to three terms or phrases joined by the expressions AND and OR. The terms in a search are entered into separate text boxes and are operated on from left to right. This means some care must be taken in formulating the search. For example, if you wanted to find information about railroad or canal companies, the search should be railroad OR canal AND company. The search engine will first search for all texts containing either the phrase "railroad" OR "canal." It will then search the retrieved set for the phrase "company." The revised set will be retrieved, duplicates will be eliminated and the final results displayed.

Search terms can be entered in upper or lower case. Our search engine is NOT case-sensitive.

Common words, especially prepositions like the, a, etc. are considered stop words and are ignored during searching unless an exact phrase search is conducted.

The following fields have been indexed for Keyword searching:

  • Proceedings (House and Senate)
  • Year
  • Content Type
    • Proceedings (all)
    • Index
    • Enacted legislation
    • Supplementary materials
    • Veto message
    • Preface

Content Type refers to distinct types of information reliably available in the different volumes. Proceedings, index, enacted legislation, supplementary materials, and veto message are a few examples of the types of content indexed for Keyword searching.

Boolean Searching: AND/OR

AND Searches

To refine or narrow your search, add more terms to your query. For instance the query, thieves, will return more results than horse thieves. Use specific terms if you know your precise search. Keep in mind that too many terms could also restrict your search results.

OR Searches

To expand or broaden your search results, use the OR operator. For instance, if you are looking for records about labor, your query may be constructed as follows:

  • labor unions OR child labor

Keep in mind that broad terms combined in an OR search could yield too many results.

Exact Phrase Searching

To find proper names of titles or common phrases, use exact phrase by adding double quotation marks ("") to your query:

  • "Monroe and Brown"


Use the asterisk (*) at the end of your search terms to find terms in the record with ending variations:

  • sea* will find texts with seal, seating, and Sears

Using an asterisk (*) generally broadens search results. We recommend that you search plural as well as singular forms of words to ensure hits. Single wildcard searching (?) is not available but adding an asterisk at the end of your search term is an easy way to do this. You can also use an asterisk to match one or more unknown characters in a search string:

  • gr*y will find texts containing Gray, Gregory, greatly, or gravity

Multiple Terms in One Search Box

Multiple terms typed into one search box will be automatically interpreted as a Boolean search using AND. If this is not the desired search, use double-quotes to make the phrase an exact phrase. Entering the query gravel road in one box will conduct the search gravel AND road, which will yield many results. If texts containing "gravel road" are the desired result, the exact phrase "gravel road" will work better to bring up that result.

Search Fields

You can search within any one of the following four fields: keyword (default), committee, roll call, and votes.

Search Filters


All publication years, 1858–1887, are searched unless otherwise specified. You can search one year by entering a year (e.g. 1881) in the "Year" box and "To" box or you can search a year range by entering two years in the "Year" and "To" boxes (e.g. 1881-1885). A year or year range search can be executed without entering search terms.


Select the Proceedings checkbox to search only within the sections of the Brevier Legislative Reports that are recorded minutes of the Senate and House meeting.

Enacted Legislation

Select the Enacted Legislation checkbox to search only within explicit lists of enacted legislation. Please note that not all volumes contain this defined list.


You can browse Brevier Legislative Reports' texts by proceedings or bills (enacted legislation) or chronologically by volume. When browsing by proceedings, the total number of meetings recorded for each session of the House and Senate are noted next to the browse entry in parentheses. Similarly, when browsing by bills, the number of laws noted as enacted is listed next to each volume in parentheses. The results for a proceedings browse entry will sort by relevance to the browse entry but you can also sort by Senate or House.

The Home page also offers access to search specially noted topics of interest. Select a topic by clicking on the link in the introductory text and you will see the proceedings available regarding that topic.

Search Results

The results page provides an array of functionality to help you manipulate your current results set by using the available filters. The results list is arranged by relevance to the search conducted. The result for each item retrieved includes the section title, volume number, year, and page number and up to the first 3 snippets of full text where the search terms appear within the item. Search results can be sorted by the following: proceedings, year, and content type.

View text

Results are linked to the full text of the item through the Title as well as the Search Terms in Context.

Results Feedback

On top of every results page is the search results information section. This section contains various types of feedback meant to help you refine or rethink your search such as query feedback, number of results retrieved, links to paginate within your result set, ways to filter your results, and access to your list of My Selections. Some of these features are explained in greater detail below.

Query Feedback

The top of the results feedback section displays the query you initiated. Display variations are contingent upon the type of search you conduct. If your search contained multiple terms entered in separate fields, those terms can be removed individually from the search by clicking the red "[X]" next to that search term. If only one search term or one group of terms was searched from a single field, the "[X]" can be used to return to the Search page to conduct a new search.

Default Results Display

Your query will return 20 records per page by default, sorted in order by relevance to your search term(s). Results can also be sorted by year (descending) using the "Sort by" drop-down menu. The number of results per page can be adjusted to 10, 20, or 50 results per page using the "Results per page" drop-down menu.

Keyword Search

If you used the Keyword Search, you will see the exact query you entered followed by "in Keyword", e.g. road in Keyword.

Committee Search

If you used the Committee Search, you will see the exact query you entered followed by "in Committee", e.g. education in Committee.

Roll Call Search

If you used the Roll Call Search, you will see the exact query you entered followed by "in Roll Call", e.g. Tarkington in Roll Call.

Votes Search

If you used the Votes Search, you will see the exact query you entered followed by "in Votes", e.g. kleiner in Publisher.

Combined Search

If you used the multiple fields in your search, you'll see your exact query terms followed by "in [Keyword/Committee/Roll Call/Votes]", e.g. road in Keyword AND judiciary in Committee. If a year or year range is selected as a filter, that information will also show in the query feedback, e.g. road in Keyword AND judiciary in Committee AND 1875-1879 in Year Range.

My Selections

An "[Add to My Selections]" link is available on each search result to add any item from a search result to your My Selections list for emailing. These selections will remain for the length of your session on the site and will be removed when you quit your browser application. To remove an item from My Selections, enter My Selections (via the main navigation or the search results feedback links) and click the "Remove from My Selections" on that item.

View Options

All displays contain bibliographic information. This includes: title, responsibility, publication place, publisher, publication date, source, and a link to view the printer-friendly version of the text. Use the "Show Document Information" link to expand this information for viewing.

Text Mode

Text Mode will show sections of the full text of a volume of the Brevier Legislative Reports based on the sections identified in the Table of Contents. All pages images within a section of text can be accessed by using the "View Page XX" link next to the page number. Page images will open on top of the text and can be moved around and closed individually. You can also switch to Image Mode from the pop-up page image view. Use the page-turning controls at the top of the text to move to the next section of text or use the Table of Contents to bring up a different section of the volume.

Image Mode

Image Mode shows each page image of the current volume of the Brevier Legislative Reports. Use the page-turning controls above the page image to move to the next page image or select from the Table of Contents to jump to a different page image within the volume.

Full Text

Volumes can be viewed in a printer-friendly version without the banner and navigation. From this view, the text can either be printed or, if available, downloaded in PDF format from the print dialog in your browser. Mac OSX provides this functionality in all browsers. If Adobe Acrobat Reader is installed on Windows, Adobe PDF will be a printer option in the browser print dialog.


All volumes of Brevier Legislative Reports can be downloaded in Adobe PDF or XML formats. Please note that the PDF version file size will be quite large, but this version can be used to select a range of pages for printing. The XML format will provide the original TEI encoding created for these documents.

Terms and phrases can be searched within the context of the Text Mode by using the "Search within this document" form. Search terms are highlighted and can be un-highlighted by clicking the "Clear Hits" link under the "Search within this document" form.

My Selections

My Selections offers a way to gather select search results for emailing. After conducting a search, any search result can be added to My Selections using the "[Add to My Selections]" link with that item. A number will appear in parentheses next to "My Selections" in the search feedback section of the search results showing the total number of items currently in My Selections. When viewing the items in My Selections, items are shown in order by volume and then year. Section heading, title, volume, year, and page number are listed for each item along with a "Remove from My Selections" link. Click that link to remove an item from your My Selections list.

Email your selections by clicking the "E-mail My Selections" link above the list of items. A new window will open requesting an email address. Enter the email address to which you would like this list of items sent, click "Submit," and you will see the following message: "Your citations have been sent." The window should then close automatically. The email you receive will contain each item from your My Selections list with the author, title, and a permanent link you can use to access the full text online.

Items added to My Selections will remain for the length of your session on the site and will be removed when you quit your browser application.

More Information

If you still have questions or are interested in finding out more information about items contained within this site, you can contact the Indiana University Digital Library Program at