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. Each search option is briefly laid out below, but 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. Search help is available below both the Basic and Advanced Search areas.

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 used in records
Author/Creator, Sorted by Title - looks for your search term(s) in a list of main author headings used in records
Title (Keyword Phrase) - looks for your search term(s) anywhere in any title fields
Title (Left-Anchored) - looks for your search term(s) at the beginning (reading from the left) of any title fields
Journal title (Keyword Phrase) - looks for your search term(s) anywhere in any title fields in periodical catalog records
Series/Uniform Title Browse - looks for your search term(s) in a list of title headings used in records
Subject & Form/Genre Browse - looks for your search term(s) in a list of subject and form/genre terms used in records
Form/Genre (Keyword Phrase) - looks for your search term(s) anywhere in any form/genre fields
Call Number (Left-Anchored) - looks for your search term(s) at the beginning (reading from the left) of any call number field
Call Number (Browse) - looks for your search term(s) in a list of call numbers used in records
Publication/Creation Date - looks for your search term(s) - in this case, usually a number - in any publication or creation date fields
Keyword Any Bib Field (Relevance-Ranked) - looks for your search term(s) anywhere in any record
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 search, not an AND - 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

The Advanced Search tab has twenty-one search options in drop-down menus that can be combined in three search boxes, using the Boolean operators "AND," "OR," or "NOT." Additional drop-down menus allow you to specify how the search terms in each search box should be treated: "all of these" (search for records that contain all terms), "any of these" (search for records that contain at least one term, but not necessarily all), or "as a phrase" (search for records that contain your terms in the exact order you entered them). You can set limits on any of the search options. Since all Advanced Search options are keyword searches, each one will return a list of records matching your search (or indicate that no records match your search).

Use Advanced Search to look for very specific items, or to help narrow down broad searches. For instance, if you are looking for early modern works on medicine, you could combine a subject search for "medicine" with a call number search for "STC," or a form/genre search for "Early works to 1800."

Keyword Any Bib Field - looks for your search term(s) anywhere in each record
Title - looks for your search term(s) in any title fields in each record
ISBN - looks for your search term(s) in the ISBN field of each record
Name - looks for your search term(s) in any name heading field (not just authors) in each record
Subject - looks for your search term(s) in any subject heading field in each record
Published/Created Date - looks for your search term(s) in any publication/creation/production date field in each record
Publisher/Printer Name - looks for your search term(s) in the publisher/printer/producer field in each record (note that this searches the name as it appears on the item, not necessarily its authorized form)
Folger Copy Notes - looks for your search term(s) in any copy-specific notes in each record
Material Type [GMD] - looks for your search term(s) in the GMD field in any record
ISSN - looks for your search term(s) in the ISSN field of each record
Published/Created Place - looks for your search term(s) in any publication/creation/production location field in each record
All Notes - looks for your search term(s) in any note field in each record
Bibliographic Citation - looks for your search term(s) anywhere in the reference citation field in each record
Series - looks for your search term(s) in any series title field in each record
Physical Description - looks for your search term(s) anywhere in the physical description field in each record
Holdings Record - looks for your search term(s) anywhere in the holdings record (which gives information about the location of the item, its call number, etc.)
Size/Format - looks for your search term(s) anywhere in the size subfield in each record (which may contain measurements such as "22 cm," formats such as "8vo," or both, such as "14 cm (12mo)")
Form/Genre - looks for your search term(s) in any form/genre field in each record
Edition Statement - looks for your search term(s) anywhere in the edition statement field of each record
Exhibition history - looks for your search term(s) anywhere in the exhibition history field of each record

Advanced Search tab defaults

  • The Advanced Search tab opens with the Keyword Any Bib Field search option in all three drop-down menus.
  • Advanced Search defaults to AND searches - the radio buttons for "AND" are automatically selected, and the center drop-down menu opens with "all of these" selected. If you enter multiple keywords in a single search box, it will search for records that contain all of them, not just any of them.

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. Clicking the link leads to a separate dialogue page.

Set Limits page.JPG

There are five limits that you can set to help narrow your search. You can select multiple options from each menu by pressing the Crtl key while clicking on them, or select a range of options by pressing the Shift key while clicking.

  • Language - language of an item
    • Note: not all catalog records include a language designation (for instance, graphic materials)
  • Location - location of an item within the Folger
  • Date
  • Item type
  • Place of publication


Once limits are set in either Basic or Advanced Search tab, they will remain in place for all future searches done within that session. You can get rid of 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 (by closing the browser tab or navigating to a different webpage).

Boolean search and wildcards

Boolean search

Boolean search uses "operators" such as "AND," "OR," and "NOT" to narrow or broaden a search. Its concepts are based on Boolean logic.

AND will search for records that contain all terms
OR will search for records that contain any terms
NOT will search for records that do not contain particular terms

You can use Boolean operators in multiple areas of Hamnet:

  • Enter them manually in the Expert Search option of the Basic Search tab
  • Select "AND," "OR," or "NOT" radio buttons to combine search boxes in the Advanced Search tab.
  • Use the relevant drop-down menu in the Advanced Search tab to specify "all of these" (i.e. "AND") or "any of these" (i.e. "OR").

Wildcard characters

Wildcard characters are generally used to account for uncertainty in a search, by substituting for one or more characters. For instance, if you're uncertain whether an item uses "theater" or "theatre," you can search for both by substituting wildcard characters for the er/re. Wildcards can be used with any keyword search in Hamnet, and you can use multiple wildcards in the same search, or even in the same search term.

? will look for an unspecified number of characters. It is most useful when used at the beginning or end of a search term to look for words that include that term.
theat? will return records with either "theatre" or "theater," but also other words such as "theatrical," "theatergoer," etc.
% takes the place of exactly one character. It is more useful for spelling variations, such as the theater/theatre example, or for finding i/j/u/v transcriptions. However, % cannot account for characters that are not there.
theat%% will return records containing "theatre," "theater," or any other words with two characters after "theat," such as "theatrum" or "theatra"
Shak?pe?r% will return records containing a variety of spellings of Shakespeare (using ? to substitute for one or more characters inside the word), but since the last wildcard is %, it will not return "Shaksper."

Expert search

Related resources