The Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life CDROMs use the ABCCLIO software. For more detailed searching, consult the database documentation at each station, press 1 HELP (to learn about the highlighted field) or contact the Library Information Desk.
Define your search by identifying the important words and related terms for each concept. For example, to find records about the Education of Slaves during the Civil War, identify the key concepts for the topic, in this case: Slaves, Education, and Civil War.
To Search Free Text
- Highlight the field to search by pressing the up or down arrow (The subject field will search the entire record for keywords. The descriptor field will search only the preassigned descriptors for each record.).
- Search for the first concept by typing SLAVE* R
- Search for the second concept by typing AND CIVIL ADJ WAR, on the same line as SLAVE* and press R (For a discussion of the use of ADJ, see Boolean Operators.).
- Continue this process until all of the concepts have been searched.
Use the online index to determine the number of times a word occurs, or find variants of a word.
- Press 2 BROWSE to display the index for the highlighted field.
- Type SLAVE . The cursor will drop to that point in the index.
- Use the arrow keys to move to the desired term.
- Press C s to select the term. Repeat the last two steps until all of the relevant terms have been selected.
- Press R to accept the terms.
- Press R to search the terms.
Truncate a root word or term with an asterisk or question mark to retrieve variants.
- An asterisk (*) at the end of a word searches any number of characters.
- A question mark (?) at the end or within a word searches for one character.
Example:SLAVE* will find slave, slaves, slavery etc. WOM?N will find women or woman. Think about the possible occurrences before using truncation.
Logical operators are words used to specify a relationship between two terms.
AND Terms connected by AND must occur in the same field.
OR Terms connected by OR can be present in the field, but are not required.
NOTThe term following NOT cannot be found in the field.
ADJ Words separated by ADJ must be next to each other, in the order typed.
NEARWords separated by NEAR must be next to each other, in any order.
To narrow a search, use the limit fields such as language or time periods.
- Press 2 BROWSE to browse the index of the field where the cursor is located.
- Press C s to select the limits. (The limits will be combined with the logical operator OR)
- Press R to search the limits.
Example:ENGLISH OR FRENCH in the language field ; 1700H OR 1800H in the time period field. (Time Period: typing H represents century and typing D represents decade.)
To Display Records
- Press 3 DISPLAY to display the records.
- Press R to toggle between the Full and List displays.
- Press r or l for the next or previous document.
To Mark Records
Records can be marked for printing during both List and Full Displays.
- Press C s (Record will be marked to the left in List Display or in the upper right corner in Full Display)
- Press C s to unmark a record.
To Print Records
- Press 6 PRINT to print the document highlighted in a List or Full Display (OR)
- Press 0 to move to the top menu bar and
- Press P for print options.
- Press 0 to move to the top menu bar.