As we develop our platforms, the range of options listed here is subject to change. We will update this page as developments happen, and please note that some of these options may not be available in older interfaces. For more information on our scheduled updates, visit the Product Enhancements home page.

BASIC SEARCH

The Basic Search enables you to search the entire database for the presence of any word or words within the full text of works (Full Text); within a range of key fields (Keyword); within the text of the author field (Author); within the text of the title field (Title) The default search is Full Text. Search terms/phrases entered cannot exceed one hundred characters and twelve words. Some archives will have additional categories and options depending on the nature of the documents that were scanned.

Within Basic Search, you may limit your search to works published in a particular year or range of years, and include works with no known publication year. The default setting excludes works with no known publication year.

Full Text
Searches for any word or words within the full text of a work as well as the fields of information included in the Keyword search. For each work returned, relevant pages containing your search term or phrase are listed in the left navigation bar within the page image full view; search terms are highlighted on the page image of each relevant page. This is a good search to use if you are looking for a particular line of text or an unusual phrase.

Keyword
Searches the entire database for the presence of any word or words within key fields of information, including author metadata fields, which include author name/authoring institution name, as well as added/variant author names and institutions; title metadata fields, which include main, variant, collective, and uniform titles; chapter/section headings.

Author
Searches for any word or words contained within the author metadata fields only, which include author name/authoring institution name, as well as added/variant author names and institutions.

Title
Searches for any word or words in the title metadata fields only, which include main, variant, collective, uniform, and series titles.

Subject
Searches for any word or words within the Library of Congress subject headings assigned to the work.

ADVANCED SEARCH

While some Gale Primary Sources archives may have unique Advanced Search options, there are many that are common across archives, including those listed below. While every option on this list may not be available in the archive you use, many of them should be.

With the Advanced Search, accessible via the top navigation bar from all views, you can conduct a search using a variety of criteria. This enables you to retrieve very specific results. You can search on a word or words occurring within the full text and the key fields of documents, as well as limit your search on the values of several fields of information. Below are descriptions of the types of searches you may conduct and the search limiters you may employ.

You may enter up to five search strings and use each to query a different or the same search index, using Boolean search operators of AND, OR, or NOT to combine search indexes. After entering your search term(s), select the index you wish to search by making a selection from the index type drop-down menu to the right of the search term box. Search terms/phrases entered cannot exceed one hundred characters and twelve words. 

Person as Subject: searches for any word or words within the Library of Congress personal name subject heading fields.

Geographic Subject: searches for any word or words within the Library of Congress geographic subject heading fields.

Front Matter: searches for any word or words within the front matter only of works within the database, including tables of content, prefaces, forewords, and other preliminary material.

Main Text: searches for any word or words within the main body only of works within the database.

Indexes: searches for any word or words within the printed indexes only of works within the database.

Publisher: searches for any word or words within the publisher field only of works within the database.

Place of Publication: searches for any word or words within the place of publication field only of works within the database.

Source Library: Searches for any word or words within the source library field only of works within the database.

ADVANCED SEARCH LIMITERS

Gale Primary Sources archives also offer a range of limiters to help refine search results. As with the Advanced Search options, the limiters depend on the archive you are using, but some commonly available ones include:

Year of Publication: limits your search to works based on the year in which they were published. Users can input a year or a range of years. You may also choose to include works with no known publication year.

Serials Title: limits your search to specific serial publications. You may select up to ten titles to search.

Serials Only: limits your search to serials titles only.

Language: limits your search to works published in a particular language.

Number of pages: limits your search to works containing a particular number or range of page images.

Illustrated Works: limits your search to works containing any or particular types of illustrations.

Gale Document Number: limits your search to a work or page based on the number assigned by Gale to that document in the database, which appears at the bottom of each document display.

MARC Record Number: limits your search to a work based on the MARC bibliographic number.

Searching Gale Primary Sources: FAQ

What does a full-text search cover?

A full-text search looks at the full-text of the entire document--the text after Optical Character Recognition (OCR) has been applied--from every page of the document as well as the 'corrected' fields covered by a keyword search (author, title, chapter headings, etc.) to ensure the best accuracy possible on those key fields.

What does a keyword search cover?

While many archives have certain features that are unique to the content involved, there are several areas common to Gale Primary Sources archives.
A keyword search will limit the search to the following fields:

  • Author (including any secondary author fields)
  • Title (and all variations of the title--short title, full title, variant title, etc.)

The author and title fields are coming from the MARC records and have been manually corrected to make the results as accurate as possible. 

Can I use wildcards in my searches?

Yes, wildcards can be used in Gale Primary Sources archives. These include the following:

  • The * (standing for any number of characters) is placed at the end of the term's root. The search retrieves all words sharing the same root. For example, the term acqui* retrieves documents that contain the words acquit, acquitted, acquire, acquires, acquired, acquiring,and acquisition.
  • The ? is used to replace exactly one character within a word to retrieve various forms of that word. For example, the term wom?n retrieves documents that contain either woman or women; and psych????y matches either psychology or psychiatry but not psychotherapy
  • The ! point stands for one or no characters. For example, analo!! matches analog, analogs, and analogue but not analogous

A word can NOT have both a wildcard and fuzzy search level applied to it. If both are specified, the wildcard will take precedence.

Is the text on maps or other illustrations searchable?

For the most part no; however, if the text is large enough it may be picked up by the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) process.  All text on the page is run through the OCR process and will be searchable.  If the word is in a graphic, like a map, and can be picked up by the OCR engine, then it is searchable. As technology improves, so do the results, so newer archives may yield better results for these types of document.

Why might search results show the wrong word?

Many times this has happened due to an error in the Optical Character Recognition process, where one word was read as another. For example, if there was a poor original image, broken type or fading ink, a word such as "king" can be misread as 'kind". Fuzzy search will also increase the range of acceptable words for any given search: to minimize problems set your fuzzy search to "Low".

Why do search results appear at times with no search term highlighted?

There can be several causes for this. First check to see if you executed a "Keyword Search': this type of search includes the metadata for the article as well as the printed content. Secondly, make sure that you have checked all the pages in the article.

I cannot find something I am certain is in the database: why?

Try spelling variations for the terms that you are searching for. For people, realize that they may not have been referred to with the title that we commonly associate with them today, so try different variations on the name. Also take into account historical names that have changed over time, in particular countries, where searching two names with an ‘or’ operator can help improve the results: for example, search ‘Ceylon’ or ‘Sri Lanka’ to get results that contain one or the other.