Help Topics 
  - getting started >
  - searching tips
  - choosing a search type
  - using basic search
  - searching regions
  - using boolean search
  - using proximity search
  - using bibliographic search
  - using word index
Interpreting search results
Viewing search history
Using the bookbag
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Getting started - multiple collection searches

Our search engine allows you to select one or more collections, and to submit simple and complex queries against those collections. To conduct a search, follow these steps:

  1. Select a collection or collection group
  2. Select a search type (Basic, Boolean, Proximity)
  3. Add or remove collections from the search (optional)
  4. Enter query terms in the appropriate search form and submit.


1. Select a collection or collection group

Fig. 1: Link on University of Tennessee Libraries Text Collection home page

From the University of Tennessee Libraries Text Collection home page, click the "Browse [collections]" link to display the list of available collections (Fig. 1).

The collections are arranged in topical or thematic groups (Fig. 2).


Each group listing consists of ...

A short descriptive title, which is also a link. Click the link to search that group. This will take you to a group search page (see Fig. 3)

A descriptive paragraph.

A list of the collections included withing that group. Click the "collection home" link to enter the "site" for that collection only.

Fig. 2: A collection group.

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Fig. 3: The groups search page. Highlighted are: 1)The groups menu; 2)The search form; 3)The collection list for the current group.

2. Select a search type

By default, selecting a collection group lands you at the Basic search page. This is the simplest search form, but there are more complex searches available, including Boolean, proximity, and bibliographic searches. At the bottom of each search form (area 2 in Fig. 3 above) there are links to other search forms. You can also use the navigation menu on the top nav bar to select a different search type (See Fig 4).

Fig. 4: The top navigation bar showing the search menu expanded.

For more about search type options, see choosing a search type

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3. Add or remove collections from the search (optional)

Immediately below the search form (see area 3 in Fig. 3 and Fig.5 below) is a list of the collections that comprise the currently selected collection group. Check or uncheck boxes next to each collection to include or exclude it from your search. You will notice that different combinations of checked collections can change the areas of a book or journal available to search (the first menu in area 2 of Fig. 3).

Fig. 5: The collection list

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4. Enter query terms in the appropriate search form

Having chosen a collection group and a search type, you can now enter your search query terms. Depending on your search type, you can combine up to three words or word phrases to match in a specified area of the text. In addition, for Boolean, Basic, and proximity searches, you can restrict your search to only those items that match certain words in bibliographic fields (i.e., author, title, etc .)

For more about composing effective searches, see Search tips


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Last updated: 02/18/2003