Help Topics 
  - help for beginners
  - searching tips
  - about early modern spelling
  - choosing a search type >
  - using simple search
  - searching regions
  - using boolean search
  - using proximity search
  - using citation search
  - using word index
  - using sgml tags
Interpreting search results
Viewing a text
Viewing search history
Using the bookbag

What type of search to choose

Simple searches are good for casting a broad net for a word or term. With common words, this sort of searching may find a very large number of returns, showing the word in a variety of contexts which may or may not be helpful. Searching for the word eye, for example, will bring up hits on expressions like in the eye of the beholder as well as extended discussions in anatomy texts of how the eye functions. You may then wish to modify your search to find only those places where your term turns up as a subject of discussion, rather than in an offhanded way. You can do this by selecting the "work and section titles" option in the basic search drop-down menu, or by doing a Boolean or proximity search.

Boolean searches allow you to combine up to three search terms and look for them in the same work or work sub-sections.

Proximity searches look for the co-occurrence of search terms. This allows you to specify the physical relationship between the words you are looking for -- so you can look for words following each other or near each other. You can also choose the "not near" option from the drop down menu to look for situations where words appear without being associated with another word. You can use this to look for occurrences in which India is discussed without the mention of the spices that were so much the focus of early trade.

Related topics:

Simple search
Boolean search
Proximity search
Searching regions