Getting Started


Upon reaching the ‘entry screen:’  Enter or select a search argument in any field – or more than one field below the top line of Topics; then, press SEARCH at screen-bottom.

SEARCH BY KEYWORD: The keyword entered is applied to Annotations and Abstracts. To search for a phrase or multiple individual words, enclose words or phrase in “double quotations.”

SEARCH BY TOPIC (Select from pull-down categories)

  • Historical Period Assigned
  • Subject
  • Subject Descriptor
  • Historical Source Type


  • (wildcard works here)

Wildcard meaning:

  • Any set of characters entered in any field below the topic line will retrieve records for matches found anywhere in the selected field. This is a wildcard search driven by the “contains anywhere in the field” command. 
  • A failed search gives a “Search Again” option.  If you take this option, the search screen is not cleared of previous entries, yet you may clear it with the option at the top.  The screen is always cleared when you select return to Database Encounter Home at screen bottom.

NOTE: An effort to retrieve records randomly by relating unlikely category combinations (i.e., meaningless combinations) is likely to fail.

NOTE: For known names, recall that when a search includes middle names/initials these may not be present, causing a search failure, and surname entries will often retrieve all manner of names which include the entered character set. Diacritical accents (from many European languages) may cause variant spellings of surnames. The rule applied in this database is to ignore accent signs in the Last Name and First Name fields. (But search for both Muller and Mueller!) If you know a search argument in any European language, remember to try it – but without diacritical marks in the Name fields.