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Directory of History of Medicine Collections

Question: How do I perform collection searches with Boolean operators?


Search operators (e.g. AND, OR, —, ( ), “ ”) in the Search Directory Collections box further defines a search.

  • The operator AND is defaulted between keywords.
  • Derivatives of the entered keywords are automatically searched.
  • The search box does not support proximity searching, truncation, or wildcards.

To perform an advanced search:

  1. Type the word(s) you want to search in the Search Directory Collections box.
  2. Search for a phrase by enclosing two or more words in quotes.
  3. Exclude word(s) by attaching a minus sign immediately before the word(s). Do not use the word NOT.
  4. Search for either one or several words by entering OR between words.
  5. Use parentheses around search phrases.
  6. Click on the Search Directory Collections button.

For example: Search for collections that have the keyword “public health” but not “surgery”, and provide loans or photocopying.

  • Type the phrase (loans or photocopying) “public health” —surgery into the search box.
  • The search results in a list of collections that have the phrase “public health”, do not have the word “surgery”, and have either the word “loans” or “photocopying” in their records.
  • Note the search results include collections with the word “loan” as well as the word “loans”.

Advanced searches may require multiple attempts to retrieve desired results. Keyword order is important in advanced searches.

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