How to find information in the Vital Statistics Collection collection
There are 3 ways to find information in this collection:
- search for particular names by clicking the Search button
- browse documents by Names by clicking the Names button
- browse documents by Location by clicking the Location button
How to search for particular names
From the search page, you make a query in these simple steps:
- Specify the names of people or locations, or dates you want to search
- Say whether you want to search for all or just some of the word
- Type in the words you want to search for
- Click the Begin Search button
When you make a query, a list of twenty matching documents will be shown.
There is a button at the end to take you on to the next twenty documents. From
there you will find buttons to take you on to the third twenty or back to the
first twenty, and so on. Click the name to see it.
All name results in browsing and searching result in the following sequence:
Last Name First Name Middle Name
Whatever you type into the query box is interpreted as a list of words or phrases
called "search terms." A term is a single word containing only letters and digits, or a phrase consisting of a sequence of words enclosed in double quotes ("..."). Terms are separated by white space. If any other characters such
as punctuation appear, they serve to separate terms just as though they were
spaces. And then they are ignored. You can't search for words that include
For example, the query
will be treated the same as
For collections built with MGPP a few other options are available.
- A * at the end of a query term matches all words starting with that word, e.g. comput* matches all words starting with comput.
- /x can be used to give higher weight to one or more of the query terms, eg computer/10 science gives computer 10 times more weight than science when ranking documents.
There are two different kinds of query.
- Queries for all of the words. These look for documents (or
chapters, or titles) that contain all the words you have specified.
Documents that satisfy the query are displayed, in build order.
- Queries for some of the words. Just list some terms that are
likely to appear in the documents you are looking for. Documents are
displayed in order of how closely they match the query. When determining
the degree of match,
- the more search term occurrences a document contains, the closer it matches;
- terms which are rare in the collection as a whole are more important than common ones;
- short documents match better than long ones.
Use as many search terms as you like--first, middle and last names. If you specify only
one term, documents will be ordered by its frequency of occurrence.
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