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Guidelines for effective search

A SIMPLE SEARCH searches all fields and sub-fields and will yield large numbers of records. 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 "phrase" 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 browse is available in either English or French.

An ANY WORD SEARCH will find examples where any of the words in your search term are present but not necessarily in the order you entered them and without punctuation or diacritics. If the words making up the search are common and likely to produce a large return, such as 'Love' and 'me', do a phrase search which will look for the words in the order you entered, such as 'Love me'. INSTRUMENTATION can only be searched as a 'any words' search. Enter name of instrument in either English or French. Keep the list of instruments short and avoid including 'Piano' or 'Voice'. There will be thousands of results looking for 'Piano'. Instead of just 'Voice', refine the search to 'High voice', 'Low voice' or 'Soprano', etc.

For PHRASE SEARCH enter a phrase with the words in a specific order. For names give last name, first names. Leading articles can be included in the search term.

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 should include punctuation and articles where appropriate.

Additional FILTERS are provided for more refined searches.