Advanced Search


Advanced Search allows you to narrow down your search results before you search.

  1. Click on the Advanced Search text link to the right of the Search box in the top Navigation bar. This takes you to the Advanced Search page.
  2. Enter a search term in the search box next to how you want to limit your search
    • All these words
    • The exact phrase
    • Any of these words
    • None of these words
  3. Limit your search to specific entry type(s) or by text searched.
  4. Press Enter or click the Search button

All these words
This search returns only pages that include all of your search terms; however, the words may be anywhere on the page and can appear in any order. To restrict a search further, just include more terms in this box, or use this box in combination with the other search option boxes. (This search is essentially the same as the basic search box on the top bar. However, when used in combination with the other options below, its power and accuracy can be magnified.)

Exact phrase
Use this box to search for an exact phrase if the basic, or "all these words," search returns too many results. This search will return only entries that contain your search phrase exactly as you entered it. This search is particularly useful for terms in which one of the words is a single letter or is very common. For example, if you are looking for the meaning of the phrase American Dream, type that term into the "exact phrase" search box. Your results will be entries that mention just the term American Dream, rather than both the words American and Dream. The phrase search in the advanced search has the same effect as putting quotation marks around a phrase in the basic search box on the home page and on the top menu.

Any of these words
Sometimes you may want to do a search on two different words or phrases that do not appear together, such as two different people or two different themes. For example, you may be researching the Trojan War, and so want to find any entries that mention either Achilles or Athena. In that case, enter both search terms in this box. You may also use this search box to locate an entry if you are unsure of the exact words to use. For example, if you are unsure whether the correct phrase is Doubting Thomas or Doubting Peter, you could type Thomas Peter into the "any of the words" search box, and Doubting into the "none of these words" box.

None of these words
Sometimes you may want to limit results by excluding certain words. For instance, to retrieve entries mentioning Abraham but not Abraham Lincoln, you might type Lincoln into this search box and Abraham into the "all these words" box.

Limit results by entry type
Sometimes you may want to find results for only certain types of entries. Check the boxes next to the types of entries you would like to search. For example, if you want to find only Allusions, check the "Allusions" box and leave the other boxes unchecked.

Limit results by text searched
Use the radio buttons to specify what part of the database to search. Full-text searches apply to the text of an entry as well as to the title and header material. The title search applies only to the title. The title search will almost always return a smaller result than the full-text search, so it is probably more helpful for frequently mentioned terms. The full-text search will help locate all the information on less well-known terms.

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