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Image Archive Search Tips & Exercises

When searching for images of rodeos and cowboys, do not enter "rodeo," "rodeos," "cowboy," or "cowboys" terms alone in the Any Word search box; this search is too broad and will result in far too many records, too many, in fact, for the search engine to handle.

The better you know the subject area in which you are searching, the better you can design a search and consequently the better your search results will be. Please review the Major Photographic Collections and determine which collections may be relevant to your search. Where links are provided to finding aids, click on these links to review the collection in more detail paying particular attention to subject terms which include personal names and subject headings. These terms can be utilized in your search design, making your search narrower in scope and more productively relevant.

Search results with images are always presented first and sorted alphabetically by title, followed by records with no images that are also sorted alphabetically by title.

Lacking reviewable finding aids, you can do a variety of searches using just the Any Word search box by entering terms strung together with & for and, / for or, and ! for Not.

For example, try this exercise, tibbs ! rodeos. We are looking for non-rodeo images of Casey Tibbs. If done correctly, your search results should yield 47 records. (See example below) Now, try this, tibbs & rodeos. We are looking for rodeo images of Casey Tibbs. This search should yield 320 records. Next, casey & tibbs yielding 338 records.

Image Archive Search Tips Screenshot

Using the Any Word box in relation to the Date box, try this. In the Any Word box enter casey & tibbs. In the Date box enter 194* . The asterisk is used to truncate the search. We have asked for all Casey Tibbs images dating to the 1940s. Your search should yield 63 records.

You can also search by accession number in the Any Word box. In this box enter 2001.077*. We are seeking all the photographs in the Arthur M. Tinker Collection. Your search should yield 91 records. However, do not use this type of search for the Bern Gregory, DeVere Helfrich, and Ralph R. Doubleday collections. The collections are too large.

Please experiment with the browse lists particularly in the Subjects and Creator boxes. For example using the Subjects box, click on the browse list. Then click on the small box in lower right corner with the default term "descriptors" and select "names." In the "find" box, enter tibbs and click on "find." Tibbs Casey is highlighted and click on "select." Close browse window and notice that ="Tibbs Casey" is now in the Subjects box. Click on "Submit query" and the results should be 331 records.

Now try the Subjects and Creator boxes together. Do the same steps as above, selecting ="Tibbs Casey". Then go to the Creator box and click on its browse list, notice the term "creator" in the small box in the lower right corner. Go to the "find" box and enter helfrich and click on "find." Helfrich Devere is highlighted and click on "select." Close browse window and notice that ="Helfrich Devere" is now in the Creator box. Click on "Submit query" and the results should be 276 records, meaning 276 photographs of Casey Tibbs created by Devere Helfrich.

Now use the Subjects, Creator, and Date boxes together. Do the same steps in the previous two paragraphs. Then go to the Date box and enter 195* . Click on "submit query." We are seeking all photographs taken of Casey Tibbs by Devere Helfrich during the 1950s. Your results should be 178 records.

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