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Search Tips - Audio

Starting Your Search
Enter search terms: Enter keywords or index terms in the search box. For example, you can search on the word "police," which will bring up any record with that word in it, or you can search on the subject term "chief-of-police," which will bring up any record about the Police Chief.
Time period: You may narrow your search by choosing a specific time period from the drop-down box.
Documents per page: You can also choose the number of documents that will appear on each page of your search results.

Search Results
Your search results will appear as a list of events with audio recordings on that subject. The list provides the number of the recording, the date, the entity holding the meeting, and a brief description. Clicking on the event will provide a fuller description of the event, the duration, and the CD numbers for the event. Information on whether or not minutes or agendas are available for the event is also included.

Wild Cards
These two characters can be helpful if you're uncertain of the spelling of a name or word, or if you want to bring up records that contain related words with the same stem.

  • ?: A question mark matches any single character.
  • $: A dollar sign matches any ending to a word root.
  • For example:
    • theat?? : matches theater or theatre
    • theat$ : matches theater, theatre, theatrical, etc.

Index Terms
If your keywords are not retrieving the results you expect, you may want to browse our thesaurus. This is a list of standardized subject terms we use to maintain consistency in our cataloging. For example, we use the term "landfills"; if you are searching on "dumps," your search may not bring up all the relevant records.

Advanced Searching
By default the search operator "and" is inserted between any two terms entered into the search field. This means that if you enter more than one search term, only records containing all of those terms will be retrieved. Some terms will help further define your search:

  • or: Connecting search terms with "or" will retrieve records that contain any one of the terms.
  • "": Quotation marks can be used around a phrase to bring up records containing that exact phrase.
  • near: Using "near" to connect search terms will retrieve records where those terms appear in the same sentence (in any order). To be more precise, you may add a number; for example, "near3" will retrieve records containing the two terms within three words of each other.

Note that the words and, or, near, with, and same are not searchable terms.

Restricting a Search to a Database Field
Sometimes it is helpful to restrict a search to a certain field in a database record. To do this, enter your search term followed by a dot, then the field code, then another dot. Searching on "westlake.nob." will retrieve all records where the word "westlake" appears in the name of the body holding the meeting or hearing. Field names for the Audio Index are:

RECD Unique identifier for recording
NOB Name of body holding meeting
NOE Name of event
NOP Name of production
DATE Date of event
PLAC Place of event
RECO Recordist name
AGMI Agenda and/or minutes available?
TRAN Transcript available?
DURA Running time of recording in form HH:MM:SS
SUBJ Subject terms from Clerk's thesaurus
SPEK Speaker list in order of appearance if known
SERS Record series
DICO Digital copies

Searching by Date
To retrieve items from a particular year or span of years, restrict the search to the Date field, in combination with any other fields, using the following format:
@date>=19770000 and @date<=19790000
This example would retrieve all items published in 1977 and 1978. 1977 is the year, the next four digits represent the month and day; using zeros requires the search to include the entire year.

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