Understanding Search Results

The results of a search will appear in a list. Search results are weighted so collections (which feature a A box icon.  box icon) appear before component items (which feature a A page icon.  page icon).

The search results for collections feature the collection title, the name of the holding repository, an alphanumeric identifier, and a brief overview of the collection contents. 

A collection search result display features a box icon on the left-hand side. To the right of the box, the collection title is listed first in blue. Underneath is the repository, identifier, and overview.

The search results for items/components feature the item title, the holding repository, the name of the overarching collecting, an alphanumeric identifier, and a note on the scope and contents of the item. 

An item result display features a page icon on the left-hand side. On the right is the item title underlined and in blue. Underneath it is the repository name, collection name, identifier, and scope and contents.

Clicking on a collection-level search result will send you to a Collection Overview page.

Screenshot of HOLLIS for Archival Discovery collection overview finding aid view.

In the upper left portion of the Collection Overview page, you'll see the Collection identifier and title. On the right-hand side of the screen you can find the dates of the collection, its extent (or size in number of boxes), restriction notes, and expandable options to display scope and contents, biographical and historical notes, additional description, and repository information. 

The separate panel on the left shows the series or items found in the collection; series can be expanded to show subseries or folder titles. 

Clicking on the Collection Inventory (to the right of the Collection Overview) provides a list of the collection contents in the center of the screen. The series list displayed in the left panel matches the inventory in the center of the screen. As you scroll through the list of items in the center of the screen, the left panel keeps pace with you and shows your current place in the series list. Likewise, clicking on the title of an item in the series list will display more information about that item in the center of the screen. 

You can either scroll through the center section or scroll down on the left -- both will keep pace as you move through the Collection Inventory

A Collection Inventory screen. Arrows point to the title of an item, "Vigran, Gary," in both the center screen and in the left-hand series panel to show how the two parts of the screen correspond to one another.

The individual component displays the location of each item within the collection, dates, language, box and folder number, and repository contact information. 

If a collection contains digital content, Digital Material will show the number of items available in parentheses and provide a list of content when clicked. 

Advanced Search

For more complex searches, click on the + button next to the Years fields in the main search bar to add additional search terms and limits.

A red arrow points to the "plus" sign in the search tool whereby users can add another search term.

You can select different fields and date ranges for each line of your search and have the option to change the limits of your search via And, Or, and Not parameters.

In the example below, a user is conducting a search for material about Radcliffe College with an identifier that begins with SC.

Refining Searches

The available facets by which users can refine their results after performing a search are displayed in the form of links. In this example, by clicking on Repository: Countway Library of Medicine, the user could limit their search to the 6,294 items available at that repository.

You have two options:

  • Edit your initial search in the Search bar at the top of the results page
  • Or use the facets on the right-hand side of the screen to narrow your results.

Alternatively, the user could select from the available facets (RepositoryTypeSubject, and Name) to reduce the number of results (see image).
NOTESubject and Name headings have not been employed consistently over time or across Harvard repositories; therefore, these facets may not be the most accurate indicator of available content. Conducting a keyword search with relevant terms may yield more accurate results.

How to Search by Repository

There are two ways to view materials from a specific repository. The first way is to start your search in the main search bar and then refine your results to just the repository of interest.

After performing a search, the first choice under Refine My Results on the right side of the screen will be Repository. Click on your repository of choice, and the results will include only collections and items from that repository.

Links to six Harvard repositories are listed under Refine my Results: Repository. Clicking on any one of the links will narrow search results to materials available from that repository only.

After limiting your results to a particular repository, a box will appear on the right side of the screen stating within which repository you are searching. 

A box appears on the right side of the screen with text that reads, "Filtered By: Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University"

The second methods begins with navigating to the page of your repository of choice. On the HOLLIS for Archival Discovery homepage, select Repositories in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Choose your repository from the list provided. Once selected, a repository page will appear with a search box. Using the search box at the bottom of the page (including any limits you set, for digital materials, for instance) will only include results from that repository.
The search box at the top will now be set to only return results from that repository, until you click on Search again.

Search Within Collections

Once you are on a collection page, you can search for items within that selected collection with the Search Within Collection boxes on the left-hand column.

The results will only show components (series, boxes, folders, items) in that collection. Search Within Collection will ONLY search the Collection Inventory, not introductory content such as the Scope and Contents and Biographical/Historical Note.

REMINDER: HOLLIS for Archival Discovery searches for the exact string of characters entered. If you are looking for text that may be part of a longer string, use the wildcard * in your search