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Searching Basics

Searching Basics: Introduction
This section introduces features and functionality common to both the simple search and advanced search pages.
Case Sensitivity
Search terms can be entered in upper or lower case. Our search engine is NOT case-sensitive.
Stop Words: Exclusion of Common Words
Common words, especially prepositions like the, a, etc. are considered stop words and are ignored during searching unless an exact phrase search is conducted. Indiana is also a stop word due to the frequency of the word appearing in the records.
Fields Indexed for Keyword Searching/Advanced Searching
The following fields have been indexed for Keyword searching in the simple search and advanced search pages:
  • Author
  • Author Reviewed (book reviews)
  • Title
  • Title Reviewed (book reviews)
  • Year
  • Volume
  • Issue

NOTE: When searching an Author or Author Reviewed index, remember to try different variations of an author's name. For example, searching on the name William O. Lynch will miss records that are indexed under W. O. Lynch and Wm. O. Lynch. A better approach would be to search on Lynch as Author or to combine different name combinations using the Boolean OR operator.

Boolean Searching: AND/OR/NOT
AND Searches

To refine or narrow your search, add more terms to your query. For instance the query, civil war, will return more results than civil war letters. Use specific terms if you know what you are looking for. 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 limestone, your query may be constructed as follows:

  • limestone (Oolitic OR Bedford)
  • limestone (Oolitic OR Bedford OR quarry)

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

NOT Searches

If you know exactly what you are looking for, conducting a NOT search may help. For example, you may want to find articles about Tippecanoe that do not include Tyler too:

  • Tippecanoe NOT Tyler

The NOT operator has to be used with at least one other term.

Exact Phrase Searching
To find proper names of titles or common phrases, use exact phrase by adding double quotation marks ("") to your query:
  • "Our Reasons for Being"
  • "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too"
Use the asterisk (*) at the end your search terms to find terms in the record with ending variations:
  • corn* will find articles with corn, corncrib, cornucopia, and corners (proving that, indeed, there is more than corn in Indiana)

Using an asterisk (*) or question mark (?) generally broadens search results. We recommend that you search plural as well as singular forms of words to ensure hits. Adding an asterisk at the end of your search term is an easy way to do this. You can also use a question mark to match one unknown character or an asterisk to match one or more unknown characters in a search string:

  • flatboatm?n will find articles containing flatboatman or flatboatmen
  • gr*y will find articles containing grey, gray, Gregory, or grizzly


Simple Search Tips

Simple Search Tips: Introduction
Our simple search page is designed to support entering words or complicated queries, such as combining more than one Boolean (AND, OR, NOT), exact phrase ("") and stemming (*) operators. The simple search page was also designed to support quick access to articles based on article titles or book titles reviewed and person names (author of article or of book reviewed).
All Words (AND) Default
By default, your search will match records that contain all the keywords entered in your query:
  • hoosier name origin will be interpreted as hoosier AND name AND origin
Complex Boolean Queries
Combining Boolean Operators

Complex searching such as Boolean searches (AND, OR, NOT) can be conducted in the keyword search query box by using the following syntax:

  • transportation AND (highways NOT "county roads")
Order of Operations

You can add parentheses to your query to define which section of your complex query should be processed first. If you don't add parentheses, your query will be interpreted by default in order from left to right.

  • transportation AND (highways NOT "county roads") will first aggregate records described with highways but not the exact phrase "county roads" and then include only those records that also contain transportation. In this scenario, you will end up with transportation articles that only include highways and not county roads, like "The Plank Road Enthusiasm in the Antebellum Middle West" and "The Postal History of Indiana."
  • transportation AND highways OR "county roads" will first aggregate records that contain both transportation and highways and then tack onto the list those records that contain "county roads."
Simple Search Filter

All terms will be searched in the simple search page as keywords by default. We have also added two filters on this page to help you quickly refine your search: author and title.

Author Filter

Use this filter when searching for a known author or author reviewed. Names are searched in their direct form: George S. Cottman

Title Filter

Use this filter when searching for known article titles or titles reviewed. The article, Our Reasons for Being, will yield more accurate results when using the "title" filter than searching "Our Reasons for Being" as keyword.


Advanced Search Tips

Advanced Search Tips: Introduction
Our Advanced Search page is designed to guide you as you formulate more complicated queries.
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 fort wayne in one box will conduct the search fort AND wayne, which will yield many results. If articles containing "Fort Wayne" the town (or fort) are the desired result, the exact phrase "fort wayne" will work better to bring up that result.

Advanced Search Fields

You can search within any one of the following three fields: keyword (default), author (includes author reviewed for book reviews), and title (includes title reviewed for book reviews).

Advanced Search Filters

Indiana Magazine of History presents three options for refining your query: year, limit to article type, and limit to article feature. Each option is described in more detail below.


All publication years, 1905-2006 (or 2 years previous to the current year), are searched unless otherwise specified. You can search one year by selecting a year (e.g. 1919) in the first box and "to" box or you can search a range by selecting two years in the first and "to" box (e.g. 1919-1921). A year or year range search can be executed without entering search terms.

Limit to Article Type
Articles have been classified as either articles, book reviews, or editorial material. Use this filter to find editorial materials or book reviews or exclude editorial materials and book reviews from results by choosing article.
Limit to Article Feature
If an article contains letters, diary entries, or bibliographies, selecting this feature will draw out those articles and exclude others that do not contain these features. Since letters, diaries, and bibliographies are not always the entire content of an article, these features have been distinguished as a separate type of filter from the Article Type filter.


Browse Tips

Browse Tips: Introduction
Why think up search queries, when you can simply click on links to explore the citations! Browsing the IMH by year is an easy way to gauge the breadth of the collection and the topical themes that are present through different issues.
Sort Order
The browse lists are sorted by chronological year and then issue number and then page number within each issue, with the most recent years showing first in the browse menu.


Results Tips

Result Tips: Introduction
The results page provides an array of functionality to help you manipulate your current results set by using the available filters.
Default Results Display

Your query will return 20 records per page sorted in order by relevance to your search term(s). Results can also be sorted by title or publication date (descending) or filtered to show only articles (excludes editorial materials and book reviews) or only editorial materials or only book reviews.

Articles are available through two views: full text of the article and page images of the print journal. Each option is available when viewing search or browse results. Within each result, Author, Author Reviewed, Title, and Title Reviewed are linked to generate new searches. Volume/Issue in the Source of each result is linked to browse through the contents of that issue.
View text

Results are linked to the full text of the article. Downloads of the text encoding of the article (expressed in XML syntax following the Text Encoding Initiative, P4 standard) and PDFs of the page images of the print journal are also available.

View Page Images

View Page Images links to the page image view of the print journal. This opens the page image viewer. Use the arrows or enter a page number above the page image to move among the pages of an article. Within this view, the "Table of Contents" tab provides access to other articles within that issue and the "Article Description" tab provides additional bibliographic details about the article. Downloads of the PDF or text encoding for the article (XML) being viewed are also available here. The image of the page can be enlarged by selecting "Image Size: large" from the "Image Size" drop-down menu. The "Table of Contents"/"Article Description" navigation will go away when viewing the large page image but will return by choosing "Image Size: screen" from the "Image Size" menu.

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, and ways to filter your results. Some of these features are explained in greater detail below.

Query Feedback
The middle of the Results Feedback section displays the query you initiated. Display variations are contingent upon the type of search you initiate.
Keyword/Text Search

If you used the Keyword Search, you will see the exact query you entered followed by "as text search", e.g. [limestone] as text search.

Author Search

If you used the Author Search, you will see the exact query you entered followed by "as author search", e.g. [lynch] as author search.

Title Search

If you used the Title Search, you will see the exact query you entered followed by "as title search", e.g. [our reasons for being] as title search.

Advanced Search

If you used the Advanced Search page, you'll see your exact query terms followed by "as [text/author/title] search", e.g. [marion] as text search AND [morgan] as text search AND [monroe] as text search. If a year or year range is selected as a filter that will also show in the query feedback, e.g. [marion] as text search AND [morgan] as text search AND [monroe] as text search AND year: 1905 to 1950.

Print Articles
Articles can be downloaded in PDF format from either the search results page, the View text page or from the page image viewer. Articles can be downloaded as XML source from either the View text page or from the page image viewer. The full text view of the article can be printed by printing the browser screen from the View text page.


Full Text Tips

Full Text Tips: Introduction
The full text view (View text) displays bibliographic information along with a link to download the text encoding for the article (XML) followed by the full text of the article.
Organization of Information

Every full text display contains citation information. This includes: title, author, publication date, volume number, issue number, page range, article type (article, editorial materials, or book reviews), and a link to download the text encoding for the article (XML).

Linked Fields

The following fields are linked to generate new searches:

  • Title
  • Title Reviewed
  • Author
  • Author Reviewed
  • Source

Full records do not necessarily contain all of the above linked fields.

Full Text
Terms and phrases can be searched within the context of the full text article by using the "Search within this document" form. Search terms are highlighted in the full text and can be un-highlighted by clicking the "clear hits" link under the "Search within this document" form. Within the full text of an article, figures that cannot be reproduced in text form (images, graphs, etc) are linked, taking you into the page image viewer where you can see the figure in the context of the article page image. At each page break within an article, the page image for that page is linked next to the page number, taking you into the page image viewer to view that page of that article within the context of the full article.


About the Online Index

About the Online Index: Introduction
In addition to the Indiana Magazine of History Online, the Online Index covers the journal's contents from its first issue in 1905 to 2010. The IMH was indexed in three, twenty-five-year volumes during the 75-year period from 1905 (Volume 1) to 1979 (Volume 75). Information on the journal's contents from 1980 through 2004, also available through the Online Index, is derived from the briefer, annual indexes published since 1980, and is therefore less thoroughly indexed than are the contents of earlier years. Developed prior to the digitization of the IMH, this index provides only citation information without linking directly to the source of each citation.
Using the Online Index
The Online Index can be used to conduct basic subject searches that are not yet included in the search capabilities of the Indiana Magazine of History Online. Remember that the Online Index will only take you to citations (author, title, date, page numbers) - not to the article text itself.