This advice will help you improve your results when using the full text search:
When looking for documents about the Warsaw Ghetto, enter both of those words
in your search query. If you enter just ghetto, your search may give you
items concerning various ghettos.
The majority of the collection is presented in German, with some French and Dutch,
in order to retrieve all relevant material you should enter your search term in a
variety of languages, for example, Warsaw Ghetto and Warschau Getto.
Find an exact phrase with the help of the PRE operator. You can narrow your
searches by requiring that the search terms appear as a phrase in the order that you
typed them. For example, when looking for works that discuss anti-Nazi resistance,
search for these words as a phrase, anti-Nazi
PRE/2 resistance. It literally means find anti-Nazi "preceding within 2
characters or character spaces of" resistance. This narrows the results from
hundreds of matches to a few dozen matches, assuming the phrase typed is not too common.
Mix phrases and single search terms in the search box. For example, enter "anti-Nazi resistance" AND German.
Broaden your search by using the OR operator. For example, "Ghetto OR Getto".
Unless you tell the search engine otherwise, it finds only
those works containing all of the words specified. By using OR between
search words, terms, or phrases, you’ll find works that contain as few
as one of the requested words. Using the OR operator will increase the
number of results that are found; use OR if the search isn’t finding
Use plural or other word endings. For example, when looking for information on
Jews, search for various forms of the word using the OR operator as
the connector, e.g. Jew or Jews or Jewish. It is also
possible, depending on the desired search term, to use the
truncation (or wildcard) feature to retrieve multiple forms of a
word, e.g., Jew*.
Try using synonyms for your original words. For example, enter "concentration camps"
or "extermination camps".
Check your spelling. If you type resisance instead of resistance,
your search won’t find any matches, unless you have activated some level
Use at least two or three search terms. By using more search terms to narrow your search,
you can locate documents that fit your information needs better.
Number of Hits
Gestapo and Nazi
Gestapo and Nazi and NSDAP
Gestapo and Nazi and NSDAP and escape
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The search engine
is not case sensitive. That is, use of capitalization does not affect
the results of a search.
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A hyphen (-) used between two words is considered part of the term. When
searching for a word or phrase that normally contains a hyphen, include
Ampersands (&) are not recognized by the search engine. Use the W
(Within) proximity operator. (See
Search Operators below to learn more about proximity operators.)
W/2 Gestapo (means "SS within two words of Gestapo"; instead of
SS & Gestapo)
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Testaments to the Holocaust supports searching on and display of diacritics--letters that include
phonetic markings, e.g., į, ō, ü, etc.--and special characters such as Ę
and ų, which often occur in foreign-language terms and names.
Searching on a term
that includes a diacritic, such as "Düsseldorf", will return results
matching both "Düsseldorf" and "Dusseldorf". Likewise, a search on "Dusseldorf" will
return results matching both "Dusseldorf" and "Düsseldorf".
Diacritics can be included in a search term or phrase by either copying and pasting a term
containing a diacritic into the search term box, or by typing the
diacritic using special combinations of keys on a standard keyboard. A
useful document that provides information on using a standard keyboard
to produce diacritics and other special characters,
Typing Accents and Special Characters, is available online from
Pennsylvania State University.
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Truncation (Wildcard) Characters
The * (asterisk) and ? (question mark) and ! (exclamation point) are used to search for words
or numbers sharing a similar pattern.
The * and ? and ! replace alphabetical and numerical characters.
The * (standing for any number of characters) is placed at the end of the term’s root. The
search retrieves all words sharing the same root. For example, the term
Jew* retrieves items that contain the words Jew,
Jews, or Jewish.
The ? is used to replace exactly one character within a word to retrieve various forms of
that word. For example, the term wom?n retrieves works that
contain either woman or women; and wo??n matches women, woman
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A date range is used to search for multiple years in date fields.
1943-1945 (to search for any year from 1943 through 1945)
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The Boolean search operators AND, OR, NOT, and proximity operators may be used to refine
your search. Whether the operators are typed in uppercase or lowercase
does not affect the search. Please note, however, that if an operator
appears in a string of words you are searching for, such as
Concentration and Extermination Camps, it will still be interpreted as a search
operator. This may lead to irrelevant results. If you are searching for
a string that contains a search operator, enclose the string in
AND. Use the AND search operator to retrieve documents that contain both of
the specified search terms. This operator places no condition on where
the terms are found in relation to one another; however, both terms have
to appear somewhere in the field you are searching. For example, a full
text search for November AND Pogrom will find any document that
contains mention both of November and pogroms.
OR. Use the OR search operator to retrieve documents that contain one or
both specified search terms. This operator places no condition on where
the terms are found in relation to one another; however, one or both
terms must appear somewhere in the field you are searching. For example,
a full text search for November OR Pogrom will find documents
that mention Novebber, documents that mention Pogrom, and documents
that mention both.
NOT. Use the NOT search operator to retrieve documents that do not contain
the specified term. For example, a full text search for November NOT
Pogrom will find items that mention November but not Pogrom.
PARENTHESES. The operators described above each operate on either simple terms (words
or phrases) or a more complex query delimited by parentheses ( ).
Parentheses allow you to construct very powerful queries. For example:
"November Pogrom" AND ((Jew and Gestapo) OR Jewish)
Boolean operators are applied in the order in which they appear. Therefore, the following
searches are equivalent:
November AND Pogrom OR Gestapo
(November AND Pogrom) OR Gestapo
The proximity operators PRE (Preceding) and W (within) may be used to refine your search:
The length of any given field is not limited to the window you see on the screen. As a search term or terms
is keyed, the text will continue to scroll to the left, so that you
can see the search expression as it is being keyed.
Because the search engine does not recognize stopwords, search terms must be included in
quotes or you can drop the stopword from the title or phrase.