ArchiveGrid Visitor's Guide
Multiple words: When you enter more than one word,
for example, yosemite muir roosevelt, descriptions will match if they contain
all of your words.
Find a phrase: To find a phrase, enter your terms within double quotes.
For example, "harlem renaissance".
Find words near each other: To find matches when your search terms are near one another, put your words in quotes and follow with a
tilde "~" and a number indicating
how far apart the matching words can be. This technique is known as a proximity search. For example, to find the words "john" and "booth"
within a span of four words,
Alternate words: To match any of the words you've entered, enter "OR" between words.
For example, antietam OR sharpsburg. The symbol "||" can be used in place of the operator "OR".
Exclude words: To eliminate matches on a word, precede the word with NOT.
For example, "civil war" NOT spanish. The symbols "-" or "!" can be used in place of the operator "NOT".
Word variations: Wildcard characters can help find different forms of a word.
Use "*" to represent any number of characters; for example, archiv*
matches archive, archives, archiving, archival, etc.
Use "?" to represent one additional character, for example,
archive? matches archive and archives.
Increasing the relevance of a search term: If your search includes more than one word, and
you'd like matches for one of the words to be given more importance, follow the term with the caret "^" and a number greater than 1.
For example, to change the relevance ranking when searching the words lincoln gettysburg to highlight results that emphasize
Abraham Lincoln's role, try lincoln^4 gettysburg.
Sophisticated searches: The logic of a search can be controlled with parentheses.
For example (antietam OR sharpsburg) AND maryland matches descriptions
that include the word "maryland" with either the word "antietam" or "sharpsburg".
When you get your search results, the most relevant matches appear first.
Relevance is determined by several factors, including
the number of times the search terms appear in the description, the length of the
field where matches occur, the number of words in the search, and any emphasis given to one or more of the search
terms or one or more of the fields.
Some terms may have different meanings in different contexts: For example, "columbia" may return results that
are not as relevant from the searcher's point of view. Adding different words in this case, "columbia space shuttle"
or "columbia university" can help.
Under the Hood
ArchiveGrid is operated by
at its headquarters in Dublin, Ohio.
Some of the collection descriptions are harvested by OCLC using a proprietary web crawler, customized for assembling
EAD-encoded and other forms of archival finding aids for indexing in ArchiveGrid. But most of the collection
descriptions are based on catalog records in
Records describing archival materials are
indexed in ArchiveGrid using OCLC proprietary applications for extracting, mapping, and indexing of MARC data from
The index for searching collection descriptions uses the
Lucene text search engine library.