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Search guide

Saturday 7 January 2017

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As from May, 2008, the CIRA library catalogue is online. It is updated once a month approximately. It includes our collection of books and brochures, periodicals, audio and video recordings. The archives, documentary files and iconography are not included in it.


The search engine includes a simple help page (button « help » on the right of the « search » button). Hereafter are some complements. Don’t hesitate to ask us questions, report problems and submit proposals to enhance and complete this FAQ.



How does quick search work ?


Quick search allows you to query specific entry fields (check boxes under the query field).


For example, if you look for Makhno in « title », « author » and « all fields », you’ll get 24 results in titles (24 entries have Makhno in their title), 1 result in authors (Nestor Makhno himself) and 216 results in other fields (216 mention Makhno in at least one field).


By clicking on the « next » link the corresponding entries are displayed, i.e. those in which Makhno appears in the title, those in which he is the main author, etc. Names may have different spellings, a search on Makhno in titles will miss Mahno or Machno. However in the « author » field main spellings are taken into consideration.-



How do I search by subject headings ?


Two possibilities.




  • By title, but you may get too many results. Furthermore, you have to repeat the search for all languages considered. It may be easier to search by terms (subject headings). The list of subjects is available here, alas in french only. A click allows you to see not only the entries linked to the subject but also the related headings («Voir aussi», see also).


  • Some subjects have subcategories, such as « history » with various periods. For instance: « France. Histoire. 1894-1914. » A click on the first level opens the second and third level.



Why isn’t there any person name in subject headings ?


Indivuals and collectives, when a document relates to them (biography, essay on an author or his works, history of an organisation, etc.), are considered like « secondary authors » and not as « subjects ». So if you look for Bakunin (Bakounine, with French spelling), you will find all works by Bakunin and about him.



How can I find all works published during a certain time or at a certain place ?




  • For all documents except periodicals: In the advanced search, choose the fields « publisher » and « publishing year ». In the first field, select Boolean query and type the city ; in the second field, choose (< = >, etc.) and type the year. If you want to look during a time lapse, select twice « publishing year », once > and once <. It is not possible to choose the publishing land.


  • For periodicals: In the advanced search, choose « Etat des collections » (under « Custom record fields ») and the field « publisher » (as above). The field « État des collections » relates only to periodicals and allows to select them only. Comparison operators being unavailable, use trickery : for instance, if you want periodicals from the ‘70s, choose « contain at least one word » 197. Periodicals can be searched by country (in the field « publisher »).



It seems the catalogue doesn’t include all publications of certain publishers…


In the former computerized catalogue, the field « publisher » was not automatized. Therefore several publishers have different spellings and are not recognized as one publisher (AK Press, A.K., etc.). We try and correct the records one by one, but there are thousands of publishers... Before the corrections are completed, you can type a part of the name and possibly use truncation (*) : « Freedom » will give you 23 results, but there are less actual publishers. The same goes for the collections.



How can I store the results of my search?


On the left above, you see a basket. You can add records to a basket that is kept during your whole session, i.e. until you quit your navigator, as a rule. You can also print your basket under various formats and/or send it by mail.