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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 2014

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 grey menu bar and the search box, which will be on every page you visit. We'll talk about searching in a minute; for now, check out our Browse Box 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 fields. Beneath the search box, You've Searched will tell you what you're searching and offer to easily add or remove search terms.
        You can also choose which collections to search by using the Add or Remove Other Collections box in the sidebar on the left, or use the Narrow Your Search facets below it to filter results.
        Want to try something else? Click on the dropdown in the search box and select new search.

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 level sidebar on the right of the item - if it has pages, of course!
        Got a lot of good items in your results? Use Save to Favorites to keep track of them. If you've opened an item, click Save to Favorites above the title; or in your search results list, tick the good ones and click Save to Favorites at the top; when you've got what you want, click Favorites on the grey menu bar at the top of the page to browse and export them. Careful: once you close your browser, they're gone!

...and once you've opened a really good item...

Tip #4: Want a closer look at it?

        Expand the viewing window or zoom in using the controls on the top and bottom edges. You can click-and-drag the image around, too.

        Search inside an item using the item's Text Search button right above the viewing window. It may already be open if you got here from a search results list, otherwise click it and go! If the item has pages, the hits will show up in the page level sidebar on the right.

Tip #5: Want to know more about it?

        The Object Description is beneath every item, and 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 level 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 the item. The majority of items have a Download button above the item on the right, with your choice of size.
        Get the PDF. The majority also have a PDF available, with the link down below in the Object Description. With a PDF, 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 the Reference URL for your citation or bibliography. You can get it by clicking Reference URL at the top left above the title. This is page-specific, though, so if you just want a general link to the item be sure you're looking at the beginning of it.

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