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Memorial University of Newfoundland - Digital Archives Initiative

TIPS & TRICKS for using the DAI
Patrick Miskell, Metadata Assistant
QEII Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Revised: August 2020

Caution: Full-text search results depend on the quality of an item's digital transcripts. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) can be excellent for modern typefaces but it has difficulty 'reading' handwriting, pale type and old-style lettering as many of our items have, and so your search results may not accurately reflect actual content. Please bear this in mind when undertaking research on the DAI.

Take a look at what we’ve got…

Tip #1: New here?

Start with our Home Page. At the top, you’ll see the menu bar and the search box, which will be on every page you visit.

Check out our Browsing Panel at the bottom: you can do a title keyword search, find collections with special item types like audio and video, and see what our sponsors have online.

Tip #2: Looking for something?

Search for what you want: we’ve got full-text search with direct-to-page results.

Use the search box at the top of the page to perform a keyword search of the entire site, or click Advanced Search to search within specific collections or fields.

When your results come up, you can sort and change their display at the top, or you can use the left sidebar to add or remove collections from the search and to filter your results by facets.

Tip #3: Getting good results?

Click on it! When you open one of the items you’ve found, the search hits will be indicated in the page sidebar on the right - if it has pages, of course.

…and once you’ve opened a really good item…

Tip #4: Want a closer look at it?

When looking at your item, you can browse its pages using the buttons on each side of the image, or you can expand the viewing window using the button in the top right corner to get a larger viewer with zoom and rotation controls. You can also browse pages using the page sidebar.

Now that you’ve got it open, you can search inside an item using Search this Record at the top of the page sidebar. The pages with hits will be highlighted, and for most items you can click Filter under the search box to only see them.

Some handwritten items can be hard to read, but for many of them you can click on Transcript below the item to find a hand-copied transcription, which also allows for good search results.

Tip #5: Want to know more about it?

The Object Description is beneath every item: it will tell you everything you need to know, like the author, publication info, subjects and more.

Sometimes periodical items come up as one volume with multiple issues; in that case, click on the first page of the issue you want within the volume using the page sidebar, and the specific issue information will appear beneath the Object Description in a second Description field.

Tip #6: Want to take it home?

Download or print the item, using the buttons above the item on the right.

Get the PDF using the link down in the Object Description. Most items have one, and with it you can scroll through pages and make them bigger for easy reading, and you can save it too.

…and finally…

Tip #7: Used it online?

Don't forget to copy the URL from you browser’s address bar for your citation or bibliography.

Using Advanced Search (Quick reference)

1. In this example, we have already selected Advanced Search.
2. We have also used Add another field to make a second one appear. Using multiple fields allows you to search for combinations of terms.
3. Choose what to look for, then type in your search terms.
4. Select what fields you want to search in.
5. This dropdown allows you to set a relationship between terms, for example to search for one thing but not another.
6. If you do not want to search the entire site, you can choose as many collections as you want to.
7. Click Search to begin the search process.

Select the collections to add or remove from your search