Searching in Hamnet

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This article provides an introduction to Hamnet's search capabilities, and brief guidelines for making the most of them.

Introduction

This article is meant to supplement detailed instructions already available on Hamnet, rather than duplicate effort. For in-depth explanations of each search option, please refer to the documentation below the main search boxes. Click on each search name to open documentation with tips for using search effectively.

Hamnet Basic Search - brief help visible.JPG

Keyword search vs. browse search

All search options in Hamnet are either keyword searches or browse searches. Both types of search take a sequence (or sequences) of characters - i.e. word(s) - that the searcher inputs and look for matches in the Hamnet database.

A keyword search is the more straightforward of the two: it looks for the sequence (or sequences) of characters entered, either in a specified field of each catalog record, or anywhere in each catalog record. It will give you a list of the records in which the sequence of characters appears.
A browse search looks for the search term(s) in specified fields in each catalog record, then shows you where the search terms do (or would) appear within an alphabetical list of the terms that have been entered into that field by catalogers (usually drawn from controlled vocabularies). From there, you can click on your search term to see records that include it, or see that there are no records which use that specific term.

Basic Search tab

The Basic Search tab includes thirteen search options, grouped thematically. These include both keyword searches and browse searches. Notice that some search options have an asterisk next to their labels: this indicates that you can set limits (see the search limits section below) to narrow the parameters of your search. It also means, functionally, that these are keyword searches (you cannot set limits on browse searches). Basic Search tab search options.JPG

Name Browse - looks for your search term(s) in a list of name headings, and shows a match (or absence of one) in an alphabetical list of nearby name headings
Author/Creator, Sorted by Title - looks for your search term(s) in a list of main author headings, and shows a match (or absence of one) in an alphabetical list of nearby main author headings
Title (Keyword Phrase) - looks for your search term(s) anywhere in any title fields, and shows a list of records that contain a match
Title (Left-Anchored) - looks for your search term(s) at the beginning (reading from the left) of any title fields, and shows a list of records that contain a match
Journal title (Keyword Phrase) - looks for your search term(s) anywhere in any title fields in periodical catalog records, and shows a list of records that contain a match
Series/Uniform Title Browse - looks for your search term(s) in a list of title headings, and shows a match (or absence of one) in an alphabetical list of nearby title headings
Subject & Form/Genre Browse - looks for your search term(s) in a list of subject and form/genre terms, and shows a match (or absence of one) in an alphabetical list of nearby subject/genre terms
Form/Genre (Keyword Phrase) - looks for your search term(s) anywhere in any form/genre fields, and shows a list of records that contain a match
Call Number (Left-Anchored) - looks for your search term(s) at the beginning (reading from the left) of any call number field, and shows a list of records that contain a match
Call Number (Browse) - looks for your search term(s) in a list of call numbers, and shows a match (or absence of one) in a numerical list of nearby call numbers
Publication/Creation Date - looks for your search term(s) - in this case, usually a number - in any publication or creation date fields, and shows a list of records that contain a match
Keyword Any Bib Field (Relevance-Ranked) - looks for your search term(s) anywhere in any record, and shows a list of records that contain a match
Expert Search (use index codes and operators) - uses index codes and Boolean operators to combine multiple searches; see Expert Search section below

Basic Search tab defaults

  • The Basic Search tab opens with the Name Browse search highlighted; double-check that you have highlighted the correct search option before starting your search.
  • Basic Search defaults to an "OR" or "any of these" search - i.e., if you enter multiple search terms, it will search for records that contain any of them, not all of them. If you want to search using multiple search terms, it's better to use the Expert Search option or the Advanced Search tab.

Advanced Search tab

Search limits

The Set Limits option appears in both the Basic and Advanced Search tabs, in the bottom right corner of the main search area.

Note: Once limits are set in either tab, they will remain in place for all future searches done within that session. You can clear limits by clicking Clear Limits (next to the Set Limits link in the bottom right corner of the main search area), or by leaving your search session (either by closing the browser tab, or navigating to a different webpage).

Boolean search and wildcards

Expert search

Related resources