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Search Tips - Folklife Audio Collection

Starting Your Search
Enter search terms: Enter any word into the search box. You can search on name, type of music, instrument, band name, or style of music.
Documents per page: Choose the number of documents that will appear on each page of your search results by using the "Documents per Page" box.
Full Record: You can choose to display the full record which contains more information about the recording.

Search Results
Your search results will appear as a list of identification numbers, performer, and date. Clicking on the number will give you a full description of the performance. The recordings are available for listening in the research room at the Seattle Municipal Archives.

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.

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. For example, searching on "bittersweet.perf." will retrieve all records where the name Bittersweet is listed as the Performer. Some of the field names useful to search for the Folklife Audio Index are:

COLL Collection that file belongs to (WPF, Washingon Fiddlers Project, or NWFAF, Northwest Folklife)
PERF Name of band or main performer
TYPE Type of recording (music or interview)
GENRE Type or style of music (folksingers, bluegrass, string band, etc.)
LEAD Name of lead musician
OTHM Other musicians or backup band
INST Instruments played on the recording
DATE Date of original recording in form YYYYMMDD. Date estimated if not given
LOCN Location of recording
TOC Names of individual items or songs in recording
COMP Composer of individual song
RICO Copyright holders of the compositions
RIPE Owners of performance rights
RIRE Owner of the recording copyright

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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