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Bibliographic Search

The Bibliographic Search allows you to search bibliographic entries of reference works that were used to compile the Biographical Archives. You can search for bibliographies based on one or all of the following characteristics (see Bibliographic Search Fields for definitions of the search fields):

To begin searching, select the Bibliographic Search link from any of the pages. Select a search criterium and enter a search term into the corresponding entry box. You can also enter search terms in different search fields to combine different search terms.

Combination of search terms

The logical operators AND, OR, NOT are available to combine search terms. When multiple search terms are entered into the same search field, these are automatically combined with AND.

Example: The entry Biographical Dictionary in the search field Title finds all reference works which contain the words Biographical and Dictionary in title or subtitle, e.g. "An American Biographical and Historical Dictionary", "Cassell's Biographical Dictionary", "Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, Biographical and Critical" etc.

If you want to use a different operator, please keep in mind that the operator has to be entered in capital letters and in English, or it will be considered part of the search criteria.

To combine search terms in different entry fields, select AND, OR, NOT from the drop down menus in front of the boxes. Preset is the operator AND.

Phrase searching

By using quotation marks you can carry out a phrase search. This means that the result has to correspond exactly to the phrase entered into the search field.

Example: Searching for the phrase "Biographical Dictionary" in the search field Title will yield all bibliographic entries such as "Cassell's Biographical Dictionary" or "Biographical Dictionary of Marxism" etc, but not titles such as "An American Biographical and Historical Dictionary" or "Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, Biographical and Critical" etc.


If you are uncertain if a search term is available in the database and how it is spelled, you may select the Index link available for most search fields. Selecting this function allows you to view the index of a certain category. You may choose one or more terms from the index list and paste them into the search form. See Index Lists for help on selecting terms from the index lists.

Searching for dates and date ranges

When searching for a publication year, you may enter a specific date in the search field Publication Year. Date ranges can be searched by combining the two dates from the range with a colon. Example: Enter 1850:1870 in the search field Publication Year to find reference works which were published between the years 1850 and 1870.

Date ranges can also be searched by using the characters < (less than), > (greater than), <= (less or equal than), >= (greater or equal than). Example: To find publications published after 1800, enter >1800 in the search field Publication Year. To find publications published in the year 1800 or after, enter >=1800 in the search field Publication Year.

Please note: Within the search field Publication Year it is not possible to use the Boolean search operators. To perform a combined search of different dates with the operators AND, OR, NOT, please use different entry fields of the search form, select the respective search category and connect the lines with the search operator from the scroll box at the beginning of a line.

Example: To perform a search for the Publication Year 1801 or 1802 enter the following in the search form:

Publication Year = 1801
Publication Year = 1802

Select " Search" and you will receive a results list. From the results list you can view the bibliographic entries.

If no results are found based on your search criteria or your search criteria are too narrow, you will receive the following message: Sorry. There were no documents found that matched your search criteria. Please change your criteria and try again. Try broadening your search and see if you get the intended results.

All searches conducted from the Bibliographic Search form are captured in the list of Previous Searches. For information on using this search history select the chapter Previous Searches.

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