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Guidelines for effective search

INCM is undergoing a major update and correction which will take several months. A new "browse" search provides many new features, including more detailed information about personal and corporate names, using the Virtual International Authority File to determine authoritative forms of names, in addition to determining nationality and primary activities. We appreciate your patience during this process.

A non-specific search searches all fields and sub-fields and will yield large numbers of records. Therefore confine your search criteria to key words only. Leave out articles, prepositions, and common nouns or names (e.g. songs, music, Canada, Canadian, John etc.). If you wish to search on a phrase using common nouns or proper nouns, use a keyword search instead.

A browse search will find examples that begin with the search term plus following examples in alphabetical order. For name browse, give last name first followed with comma and first names. For a title browse, leave out the leading articles. For publisher browse the search term should be in direct order as a publisher's name would normally appear (i.e., "Oliver Ditson" rather than "Ditson, Oliver"). Subject and instrumentation browse is available in either English or French.

A keyword search will find examples where all the words in your search term are present but not necessarily in the order you entered them without punctuation or diacritics. If the words making up the keyword search are common and likely to produce a large return, such as "Love" and "me". Do a keyphrase search which will look for the words in the order you entered, such as "Love me". Punctuation becomes important in this case.

For keyphrase searches enter a phrase with the words in a specific order. Be sure to include any punctuation integral to the phrase, such as "Carol, Christians" or "Harriss, Charles A. E.". For names give last name, first names; titles with or without leading articles. For instruments separate each instrument/ensemble with either "and" (in English) or "et" (en français). Qualify a chorus as "Mixed Chorus" or "Men's Chorus" or "Unspecified chorus"

Exact searches must have all words and punctuation in the correct order. This type of search will give fewer but more specific results. Keep in mind that the criteria must include punctuation and articles where appropriate.

For searches of NAMES, list last names first unless forename is appropriate (e.g., Innocent [Pope]). For name_exact searches, search only name; leave out titles, dates, initials expansion, etc.

For searches of TITLES, FIRST LINES, SERIES TITLES, etc. you can leave out articles except in exact titles searches.

For keyphrase searches of INSTRUMENTATION, your search items should be itemized by instrument. Even for common chamber groups such as string quartet enter "2 Violin and Viola and Violoncello". For instrument keyphrase and instrument exact, use "and" (in English) or "et" (en français) to separate instruments. Generally the instruments should be in score order, e.g., "Violin and Violoncello and Piano" or "Violon et Violoncelle et Piano. For keyword searches leave out "and" and numbers. Give only instrument names (singular) in any order.

For searches of LIBRARIES or HOLDING INSTITUTIONS, enter just the city/town if unsure of exact title of library.

For SUBJECT enter general criteria. For example entering "war" will result in not only "World War" but also "EdWARd, Prince of Wales". Entering "World War" will refine the search. Qualifying criteria, such as Canada or 20th century separate each criteria with " -- ", such as "Popular music -- Canada -- 1911 to 1920"

The CSM number is assigned to each record and can be searched. On the "Details" page, the CSM number appears near the top.

Additional FILTERS are provided for more refined searches.