You can search all the information in this site, including some of the text inside documents, by entering words or phrases into the main search box. There's usually no need to enter any special operators or commands, or worry about upper or lower case letters, as the search engine will try to find the most relevant items with the words you use.

Searching for People by Names

If you are searching for specific people by their names, in addition to simply typing their names, the proximity operator is a great tool. When a name may be spelled in different ways, the wildcard operators and fuzzy searches can help find those variations, as can the Boolean OR operator.


"Allan McEwan"~4
Allan OR Allen OR Alan

Spelling Corrections and "Did you mean" Search Suggestions

The search engine will automatically search variations on common words for you, but may also suggest alternate words or corrections to typos and spelling errors that are known to bring back results, especially if your search found none. You can select any option presented to run that search.

Revising Your Search

If you run a search and get a lot of results, or not ones you hoped for, you can revise your search by editing, removing or adding to your search words, in the box above your search results, without having to start a new search from the home page.

Narrowing Your Search

You can also narrow your search using "facets" of those results, such as names and dates.

Select as many entries in a facet as you like before choosing the Apply button to refine your search to only results with those entries.

To remove one of your choices, select the X next to it as it appears above your search results.

Sorting Search Results

Search results are almost always sorted first by relevance, so that the items that best match your search appear first. You may also sort by Title or Date

Changing the View of Search Results

List View: Search results are initially shown in a list view, with brief information about each result, and links to either:

  • view the issue with search terms highlighted, or
  • browse the issue as a flipbook without search terms highlighted.

Table View: You may also change the view to a table-style view, which lists the results by newspaper name, issue and year. From this view, you may only browse the issue as a flipbook without search terms highlighted.

Working with Search Results

Viewing Newspaper Issues

Newspaper links will open either in a:

  • PDF viewer with your search words or phrase highlighted, showing the first page with a match, or in a
  • flipbook style viewer, with animated page turns (without your search words highlighted).

Saving Items

You can save items that you're interested in to a temporary list by clicking on the "Select" button. If you would like to remove an item from the list, click on the "Remove" button. Multiple items can be added to the list, across different searches.

To view your list, select the "Selections" link in the main site menu.

From the list, you may print the results, save them to a PDF, or email that PDF to yourself or another email address.

Every record has a unique URL that takes you directly to that record. Choose the Permalink button to open the view of this record. You may copy the URL to this record, share it, bookmark it, save it, etc. For as long as this record and this site exist, this URL will take you to this record.

Sharing Items

If a Share button appears for items in search results, you may choose one of the available social media sites to post the item to.

Additional Search Operators

The additional search options listed here can be used as described, on their own, or in combination with each other.

Combining Search Terms with Boolean Operators

You can combine search terms with the AND, OR, and NOT Boolean operators (in capitals).

Multiple search terms are automatically assumed to be combined with AND, but you can combine the search terms explicitly by typing out AND between the terms. Use AND for searching when you want results that match both (or more) search terms.

e.g., to search for documents that contain both forest and rock, in the search bar, type:

forest AND rock

To look for records that match any one of your search terms, use OR.

e.g., to search for documents that contain either forest or rock, in the search bar, type:

forest OR rock

Use NOT if you would like to include one search term but exclude another.

e.g., to search for documents that contain forest but do not contain rock, in the search bar, type:

forest NOT rock

Prepositions such as a, an, the and other "small" words, often referred to as "stopwords" are generally ignored by the search engine. There's no need to specifically exclude them with NOT.

Grouping Terms

You can use parentheses to group terms and phrases. This can be very useful if you want to control the Boolean logic for a query.

e.g., to search for documents that contain both forest and rock, but not water, in the search bar, type:

(forest AND rock) NOT water

Phrase Searches

To search for an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in quotation marks in the search bar.

e.g., to search for documents that contain the exact words rock in a forest, type:

"rock in a forest"

Wildcard Searches

Wildcard searches can be used when you do not know the exact term you are searching for, or if you wish to look at variations of your search term.

e.g., to find results that match text or test, you can use the ? symbol and search for:


The ? symbol is used in place of a single character. To search for multiple unknown characters, use the * symbol.

e.g., to find results that match test, tests, tester, testing, or any other variation that begins with test, search for:


The * symbol can be used in the middle of a term.

e.g., to find test, tempest, tenet, etc. (i.e., any words that begin with "te-" and end in "-t"), search for:


You can also use the ? and * symbols at the start of a term.

e.g., to search for test, harvest, forest, etc. (i.e., any words that end in "-est"), search for:


Proximity Searches

To search for documents that have two terms within a certain number of words of each other, use the ~ symbol with a number.

e.g., to search for the terms forest and rock within 10 words of each other, search for:

"forest rock"~10

where the desired terms are in quotation marks, followed immediately by the ~ symbol and a number.

This is especially useful for name searches, where a name may include first name, last name, middle initial or title, in any order, and a search result may also include other similar first or last names. If the name of the person you are searching for was 'Jane Doe' try a search for:

"Jane Doe"~3

to find variations such as:

  • Jane Doe
  • Doe, Jane
  • Jane M. Doe
  • Doe, Jane Margaret
  • Ms. Jane Margaret Doe

but exclude names such as:

  • John Doe
  • Margaret Smith

that are also in the document and which would be found by a simpler search.

Fuzzy Searches

The ~ symbol can also be used for approximate searches, but only when a single word is being searched.

e.g., to search for terms that are similar in spelling to cat, search for:


This will bring back results that match terms like bat, rat, mat and hat, in addition to cat.

Range Searches

To perform a range search, use the [ ] symbols and the word TO (in all capitals).

e.g., if you're searching for names that fall alphabetically between Jones and Smith, search for:

[Jones TO Smith]

You can also search a range of numbers using the same method.

e.g., if you're searching for documents from between 2006 to 2008, inclusive, search for:

[2006 TO 2008]

Boosting a Term

To give one search term more importance over another, you can use the ^ symbol followed by a number.

e.g., if you want to search for documents with both forest and rock, but forest is the more important search term, search for:

rock forest^5

which will give the term forest 5 times the value of the term rock.