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How to Search the Westwood Database

I. Basic Search

By default, the basic search in the Westwood database is a keyword search. It will find any word or words included in any searchable field in the database.

This is how to do it: type the word or words you want to search in the Basic Search Box and click the Search icon

Example: stechow

Search icon

Note: The basic search does not retrieve words that are less than four characters in length. So if you are searching for the following last names -- Bly, Cox, Dye, Ely, Fox, Fry, Gar, Lee, May, New, Orr, Pay, Ray, Roe, See, or Sly -- you will not retrieve any results when using the Basic search. This search is not recommended as it is imprecise and you will get too few, too many or irrelevant results.  Use the Advanced Search instead.

II. Advanced Search using the Basic Box

The Advanced Search allows you to combine terms in different ways. With the Advanced Search you can add two or more terms to your search, you can exclude terms from your search or you can search for a specific sequence of words. Using the Basic Search box you can do either Boolean or Exact Match searches. Let’s take a look at the ways these can be done.

A. Boolean Searches

In the Westwood database the traditional Boolean operators AND and NOT are replaced by the symbols + and -. The OR operator is not used per se but comes into play when you type two words without including the + or - symbols. Double quotation marks and the asterisk are also part of the Boolean search in the Westwood database.

1. Use the Boolean operator + when you want to combine two or more terms in your search and you want all the words to appear in all the records that you have searched.

This is how to do it: Click on the advanced search, select Boolean and type each word or phrase preceded by the + symbol in the Basic Search Box.

Example: +wolfgang +stechow

Note: All results will contain both wolfgang and stechow in the records. Remember, the search must be set to Boolean for this to work! This search will not work correctly if one of the words is less than four characters in length.

2. Use the Boolean operator - when you want to omit certain records from your search results. Suppose you want to find all records that have the name “stechow” but you want to exclude all records containing the name "wolfgang" from this set of records.

This is how to do it: Click on the Advanced search, select Boolean and type the words or phrase you want to search in the box.

Example: +stechow -wolfgang





Note: Results will return all records that have the name stechow but will exclude any records that have the name wolfgang.

 3. Enclose phrases in double quotes "" when you want to search for a specific sequence of words. Suppose you want to search for records that contain the phrase “wolfgang stechow” and in that exact sequence. 

This is how to do it: Click on the Advanced search, select Boolean, type the terms or phrase you want to search in the box and surround them with double quotes.

Example: "wolfgang stechow"

4. Use asterisk in the middle of a word or at the end of a word when you or either not sure of how to spell the word or if you want to retrieve variations of a particular word in your results.

This is how to do it: Click on the Advanced search, select Boolean and type the terms or phrase you want to search in the box

Example a: stec*ow

Example b: wolf*

Note: Example a will retrieve the name Stechow.  Example b will retrieve names such as Wolfe and Wolfgang

C. Exact Match Searches

If you’re looking for a specific sequence of words, or a phrase, you simply need to click on the Advanced search and select Exact Match and type the terms or phrase you want to search in the box. All records containing the specific sequence or phrase will appear in all the resulting records

Example: Jennifer Cox

Note: Although you can use the Exact Match to search for phrases where one of the words is less than four characters in length you cannot search single words that are less than four characters in length.  The results will be imprecise and will include records that contain the individual word along with records that contain a variation of the word or the stem within a longer word. For instance, searching the word "bly" will yield results that have the name "Bly" and will also yield results that contain "bly" as part of a longer word such as "presumably".  This search works essentially the same as the Boolean phrase search.

III. Advanced Search using the Form

In the advanced search form, you can create more complex searches by restricting your search to specific fields or by searching specific Westwood sections. You may access the Advanced Search form in two ways:

(a) Click on the Advanced Search button located in the left navigation pane and then on Advanced Search Items Only or (b) click on Browse Records in the left navigation pane and then on Search Records

 

On the Advanced Search Form you can narrow your search to a specific field by clicking the down arrow on the drop-down box. By clicking the down arrow in the first drop-down box you will see all the valid fields for searching. By clicking on the second drop-down box you can further limit your search to one of the following options: contains, does not contain, is exactly, is empty, and is not empty.  In addition you can click the Add a Field button to create more complex advanced searches.

 

This is how to do it:

1. Select the field you want to search by clicking on the down arrow in the first drop down box

Example: Last Name

2. Select one of the limiters in the second drop-down box

Example: is exactly

3. Enter your word or words in the third box

Example: stechow

4. Click on the Search for Records button located in the lower right corner of the search form

On the Advanced Search Form you can also limit your search to a specific Westwood section.

This is how to do it:

1. Select the section you want to search by clicking on the down arrow in the search By Section box.

Example: Section AA

2. Type your search word or words in the Search for Keywords box

3. Click on the Search for Records button located in the lower right corner of the search form