IHO Help: Using search terms

Entering more than one search term narrows your search. The fewer search terms entered, the more records you are likely to find.

Troubleshooting: Clear the search screen before each new search by selecting the 'reset' button.

Name search

When searching for surnames, particularly if variant spellings of the name are common, it may be useful to abbreviate the search term using an asterisk. Thus, for example, a search for McKeo* will find both McKeown and McKeon. Be aware that 'Mac' and 'Mc' surnames are not interchangeable in a database search, and you may need to search for variant forms. A search for McCarthy will not find the variant forms Mc Carthy or MacCarthy or Mac Carthy. Authors, editors, compilers, translators, etc., may all be searched for in the same way.

Many authors have published under variant forms of their names, sometimes using initials in place of forenames. IHO aspires to list each name under one standard form, guided by the Library of Congress name authority files where relevant and appropriate. 

To search for a specific author, enter the surname in the NAME field and select SUBMIT QUERY. The list of names reported will reveal the form in which each author of that surname is listed in the database. You may then refine your search if necessary by entering the correct form of the forename along with the surname. 
Example: to search for Robert Simington, who usually published as Robert C. Simington but sometimes used R. C. Simington, it is sufficient to enter Simington in the name field, as it is an unusual surname. 

HINT: for quicker and more reliable searching use ampersand (&) to combine parts of a name, and use an asterisk (*) to abbreviate a name that you are unsure about.
Example: to find both R. C. Simington and Robert C. Simington: enter Simington&R* in the name field. This will find all Simingtons with the initial R, regardless of whether the forename is given as initials, R. C., or more fully as Robert C, or any other form. (However, such a search would also find other Simingtons with a forename beginning with 'R'.)

Trouble shooting:
Some people are known by their second forename, but publish under their initials, so when searching the database it is advisable to use the ampersand (&) to combine parts of the name.
Example 1: to find articles by R. V. Comerford (usual published name R. V. Comerford, but known as Vincent Comerford), search for  Comerford, R.V.  or  Comerford&V*  or  Comerford&Vincent  or  Comerford&R.V.  A search for  Comerford, Vincent  without using the ampersand to combine the separate parts of the name will not be successful. Using an initial followed by an asterisk (V*) will find all forms of a name beginning with that initial letter.
The name is entered in this database in the form Comerford, R. V. (Richard Vincent).
Example 2: to find articles by Joe Lee (usual published name J. J. Lee), search for Lee&J*  or  Lee&J.J.  or  Lee&Joseph. A search for  Lee, Joe  will not be successful, but a search for Lee, Jo* will produce results. A search for  Lee, Joseph  without using the ampersand to combine the separate parts of the name will not be successful. The name is entered in this database in the form Lee, J. J. (John Joseph), 1942-.

Editorial work on the standardization of names within the IHO database is ongoing. However, authors and editors are not always personally consistent in the style of their names, and thus it is always advisable to use the ampersand(&) and asterisk (*) in the manner described above as the most reliable way of conducting a comprehensive name search in this database.

Title search

In a title search, you may combine keywords rather than entering a full title. This is useful if you do not know the exact title. For example, if searching for: A catalogue of the maps of the estates of the archbishops of Dublin : 1654-1850 (Dublin, 2000), a search in the title field for the combined keywords archbishops&estates will suffice. This will find any title that contains both the keywords 'archbishops' and 'estates'. Combined search terms may also be abbreviated using asterisks: archbish*&estate*.

Subject search

The subject classification system essentially takes the form of a keyword index. A full A-Z list of subject search terms can be accessed using the 'browse' button beside the subject index search box. Within the browse feature, insert the first few letters of a subject to jump to that point in the A-Z list.

Person as subject search

Standardized forms of personal names are used in this field. To browse a full A-Z list of names used in the 'person as subject' field, use the browser button beside the person as subject search box. Within the browse feature, insert the first few letters of a subject to jump to that point in the A-Z list.


Date of publication

To limit a search by date of publication, enter a year in the 'publication year' field. To limit a search to a range of publication dates, for example books published between 1936 and 1938, enter 1936:1938 as the search term in the 'publication year' field.

This page last updated 16 May 2012