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Help for Resources:
How do I search for a resource?

You can search for a resource in two ways. Quick keyword search, which is available via the "Search Resources" box on most screens, matches your word(s) to words anywhere in the resource record. Advanced Search gives you more opportunities to specify which fields or areas of the records you would like to search.

What is the difference between Quick Keyword Search and Advanced Search?

Quick Keyword Search is designed to allow you to search for one word or phrase without any customization of the search process. Advanced Search provides many additional options to refine your search strategy, including searching for combinations of words or phrases, limiting the search by a variety of variables, and customizing how you will see the search results.

What are the best search methods?

A number of tips should allow you to maximize your use of Quick Keyword Search and Advanced Search:

  1. Capitalization is irrelevant. For example, NASA is equivalent to nasa.
  2. For phrase searching, enclose the words within double quotes (e.g., "Library of Congress").
  3. To search for an exact number, place the number into quotes (e.g., "114,457"). This forces the search engine to find an exact match for that number.
  4. For a string of words (e.g., University of Wisconsin), Quick Keyword Search and Advanced Search assumes these words are joined by AND. Thus, it will match records with all the words occurring in the searched fields either together or individually.
  5. Words or phrases can be prepended with a dash or a plus sign. A dash (e.g. -magnesium or -"potato chips") indicates that you don't want any results that contain that term. Conversely, words or phrases can be prepended with a plus sign (e.g. +magnesium or +"potato chips") to indicate that you require results to contain that term or phrase.
  6. The results will be displayed in a descending order of relevance (most relevant items appear at the top of the results). Relevance is determined through a combination of word occurrence frequency and a weighted value of the metadata fields being searched. Word occurrence in the Title is weighted the heaviest. Alternate Title, Creator, Publisher, Classification, and Contributor are in the next lower tier of weight values. Occurrence in the URL and Description are given the lowest weight values.
  7. Advanced Search allows you to refine a particular search using additional criteria available in the form of a dropdown list. The portal software by default offers the following metadata fields as Limit options: URL Domain, Date Issued, Resource Type, Language, Audience, Format. These limits can be used exclusively or in combination with search terms. Also, users may select more than one option from each Limit by highlighting the desired options from the list. The default for these limit criteria is set at No Limit. To select a value(s), click on the down arrow to the right of the No Limit phrase to reveal available options. Highlight the desired value(s).
  8. After searching, the results list will contain hyper-linked fields for easy navigation.
How do I browse for a resource?

To browse all resources included in the database, click on Browse Resources in the navigation bar. The number in parentheses to the right of each topical subject gives you information about how many sub-topics or records are associated with that topic heading. Topics get more specific as you drill down; you can go back to the previous topic level(s) by clicking on them at the top of the page or using the back arrow on your browser.

Can I add a new resource?

Maybe. Only users designated by the Portal Administrator can add resources. Before adding records, users that can add must provide their username and password.

Can I edit a resource?

Maybe. Only users designated by the Portal Administrator can edit resources. Before editing records, users that can edit must provide their username and password.

Is there a "What's New" or a New Resources page?

The New Resources area can be found on the home page. This list contains the most recently added resources.

BC History Portal logo (View on C.P.R. showing four tunnels by C.S. Bailey)


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