Search Hints

This page includes hints for using the Searchable Bibliography. The Searchable Bibliography is the most thorough way to search this site. However, a good starting point for some searches may be the ready-made bibliographies available as portable document format files(PDFs.) To find a PDF bibliography in your area of interest, see the Research Topics in the left side bar.

Searchable Bibliography

When searching the bibliography, the Keyword, Author and Title boxes offer five search options: plain, inclusion, whole phrase, exclusion and truncation/wildcard.

  1. Plain Search: Searches for any instances of any words
    If you type in Colorado cattle
    The search results will be records pertaining to Colorado or cattle

    This kind of search can be a good place to start. If you get too many results at first, try one of the other kinds of searches.

  2. + Includes: Searches for instances of all words with + sign
    + Colorado +cattle
    The search results will be records pertaining to both Colorado and cattle

    This search helps you narrow down the number of results you get, giving you specifically what you're looking for.

  3. "Whole Phrase": Searches for words in that specific order
    "Colorado cattle"
    The search results will be records with the exact phrase Colorado cattle

    This is useful when you're looking for an exact title, author or subject phrase. Remember, some names and titles can vary. If the whole phrase search doesn't get satisfactory results, try a plain search or truncation/wildcard.

  4. + - Inclusion/Exclusion: Contains some words, keeps out other words
    +Mexico -New
    The search results would be records pertaining to Mexico but not New Mexico

    This search will help when you know what you don't want.

  5. * Truncation/Wildcard
    Asterisk replaces letters at end of beginning of word
    min*
    The search results would include records about mines, mining, mine, minimum, minute

    This search often gets the most results. Its a good search when you want to cast a wide net, or are looking for something rare.

More Hints

Other Resources

This bibliography does not comprehensively include records for books, articles, theses, dissertations, or other materials. Remember, this bibliography focuses on the period between 1820 and 1945. Depending on your research focus, you may also want to search the following databases. Contact your local university or public library for access. These databases are not freely available on the Web.

Contact us for more information if you are having difficulty with searching the bibliography or locating information on the Web site.

Go to the Searchable Bibliography.