by Bruce E. McKinney
We now offer a revised and much improved Primary Search tool to identify records in the Americana Exchange Database. We have revised both the search field that comes up first on the toolbar under Search and also the format of the results.
The Primary Search looks like this:
The database currently contains more than 268,500 records and we are adding 25,000 new records each month. When you click on Word Wheel (requires Windows operating system) next to Bibliographical Type you can see the current composition of the data base. It is always growing.
- 175544 Bibliographical References
- 1737 Celebrated Collections
- 66760 Dealer Catalogues
- 4094 Recent Auction Records
- 20259 Selected Historical Auction Records
You do not need to put information into each field and you do not need to put complete information into any field. Let’s put Jefferson in the Author field. It finds Jefferson in 416 records in the AUTHOR field. Now let’s narrow the search by adding Thomas: Jefferson, Thomas. This narrows the results to 200 matches. Jefferson College and other such items disappear.
If you have a portion of the title we can now add it in the TITLE field. Jefferson’s most famous book is Notes on the State of Virginia but you must be careful. A single key word is best because it picks most and probably all related titles but if you have it just a little wrong you may miss many references. Let’s say you put in the TITLE field Notes on Virginia you’ll find only some of the references – 13 whereas Notes finds 70. Generally it is best to have too many references and then to quickly look at what you have and add additional qualifying terms. If you now enter1782 in the YEAR PUBLISHED the total records that exactly match is reduced to 6. Now look at the most recent auction record. If you have a copy, and there are undiscovered copies in attics, you have a great book that is worth a great deal of money.