Search Tips

This page provides general tips for conducting searches in TWU Archives and Special Collections AtoM database.

Simple Search: This is the easiest way to search for keywords or phrases. It is located at the top left of every page, allowing you to start a new search even from a results page and the search will give suggestions as you type.

Advanced Search: Use this to build complex searches or to narrow your search. Click onto the magnifying glass to open the advanced search function.

Browse: Located to the left of the main screen, the drop down browse will let you search by archival descriptions, individuals and/or organizations, places, and subjects. For an explanation on each search type, see below:

Archival descriptions to view a list of collections by title
People and organizations to view a list of creators (e.g. names of organizations and/or individuals)
Subjects to view a list of subject terms
Digital objects to view digitized images (e.g. photographs, documents, etc.)

The following search tips will assist you in narrowing down your search.

  • Use AND (upper case required) to narrow your search; e.g. library AND construction will find results that contain both terms
  • Use OR (uppercase required) to broaden your search; e.g. Pillar OR yearbook will find results that contain either term
  • Use AND NOT (uppercase required) to narrow your search by exclusion; e.g. financial records AND NOT budgets will find results that include the terms "financial records" but not the term "budgets"
  • Use truncation to search for a word with multiple adding by adding * after the word; e.g. graduat* will find results that contain graduate, graduates, graduation, graduating
  • Use quotations to search for an exact phrase; e.g. "faculty association"; e.g. "CA TWU Coll. 08-1998-01-3821"
  • Note that peoples' proper names may be entered in the database using the convention "family name, given name." For example: Lee, Joan rather than Joan Lee. For best results, try searching on both forms.


For additional search tips please visit AtoM Advanced search page.