AtoMabout

There are 2 main search interfaces: Simple search and Advanced search.

Simple Search

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Advanced Search

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This can be reached from any page by the link shown above. Use it to build complex searches or to narrow your search.

advance
 

 

  • Use the Search button or Enter key to start your Advanced Search.
  • To search on multiple fields, click the Add New Criteria button to add a field.
  • To narrow your search, use the Search Filters on the left. You have four options: 
    • Top-level descriptions: search only within a certain fonds or collection. Enter the exact name of the fonds or collection OR select from the list provided after you click into the box.
    • Media type: the types of digital objects available, which are automatically determined by the system based on the file name extensions, for example: .PDF will be text, .JPG will be image, etc.
    • Digital Object Available: “yes”, if you just want to find digital objects, which are scanned items that you can read and download as needed.
    • Level of Description: the levels of archival description such as fonds, sub-fonds, series, folder or item

Example: Search for digital or digitized images, including photographs, about the prison life in the Middle East, particularly the political prison writings of Egyptian Islamists in the 1950’s and 1960’s:

  1. As not all UN archives have been digitized, it is a good idea to start with a search without limiting to digital objects only;
  2. We try search “prison” and “195*” (1950’s) first to see what we can get;

 

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We get 8 results:

 

     3. Then we try to use the search wildcard to cover all possible prison related keywords, and search “prison*” and “195*”;

And we get 137 results:

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     4.If you are sure you only want to see the digital images, then limit the search with “Media type”;

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And we get the only 1 image digitized and stored in the system:

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    5.If you want to see whether there is any documents in the same subject, then you use “Digital object available” to limit your search;

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And we get both images and documents:

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6. If you want to further explore archives on “the political prison writings of Egyptian Islamists in the 1950’s and 1960’s”, you can also try to search “Egypt*” and “ Islam*”;

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And as shown, we get one folder. In order to see what documents are in that folder, you will have to contact us for more detailed information.

Search Tips

  • To find an exact phrase, use quotation marks.

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  • The following punctuation marks all have special meanings when used in a search. They will cause your search to fail if they are used improperly. You can use quotation marks around the whole search
    word or phrase or delete the punctuation. If you wish to use them for searching, see the Power Users' Search section below.
    + - && || ! ( ) { } [ ] ^ " ~ * ? : \
     
  • Reference codes contain these punctuation marks, and somust be enclosed in quotation mark

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  • To search by date, your search must look exactly like these:

    • startDate:1978-03-08 (for all records with a start date of March 8, 1978)
    • startDate:<1978 (for all records with a start date earlier than 1978)
    • startDate:>1978 (for all records with a start date of 1978 or later)
    • endDate:1978-03-08 (for all records with an end date of March 8, 1978)
    • endDate:<1978 (for all records with and end date earlier than 1978)
    • endDate:>1978 (for all records with an end date of 1978 or later)
  • To search by date range, use the Advanced Search page and enter two date searches joined with an "AND”

Example: Search for everything created in 1970

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Other Ways to Discover

  • From the top of any page, you can browse our:
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  • Archival Descriptions by clicking on Catalogue, which will give you a full list of all archival records, with the option to narrow them down by different levels of archival descriptions by clicking on the options listed on the left column of the browse page.
  • Scanned Items by clicking on Digital Objects, which will give you a full list of thumbnails of scanned items, including documents and images. Each thumbnail takes you to the full description of that item 
  • You can navigate from results by following links to other results. We strongly recommend that when navigating from one link to another, users open links in new tabs in their browser. Doing so will preserve your original result and make it easier to return to it.
  • Popular this week: the Search UN Archives page has a list in the sidebar of the top 10 most accessed archival collections in the past 7 days.

Power Users' Search

If you are used to sophisticated searching, here are the symbols that work in our system and their behaviour.

 

Symbol Use

"

Term enclosed in quotes must appear exactly as provided. Example: "towel" will find towel, but not towels.

+

Term after "+" must be in the result. Example: +tea cricket requires that results that must contain the term tea in them, and may have the term cricket.

-

Term after "-" must not be in the result. Example: -tea cricket requires that results that must not contain the term tea in them, and may have the term cricket.

?

Single character wildcard. Example: p?per will find paper and piper, but not pepper.

*

Multiple character wildcard. Example: galax* will find galaxy and galaxies, but not galactic.

~

Fuzzy search. Will return results with words similar to the term. Example: fjord~ will find fjord, fjords, ford, form, fonds, etc.

&&

Boolean operator. Can be used in place of AND. Will cause an error if combined with spelled-out operators. Example: Arthur && Ford AND Zaphod will fail; Arthur && Ford && Zaphod will succeed. It can be used to search for date ranges in the simple search box. Example: (startDate:>1939) && (startDate:<1945) will find all records with start dates between 1939 and 1945.

||

Boolean operator. Can be used in place of OR. Will cause an error if combined with spelled-out operators.

!

Boolean operator. Can be used in place of NOT. Will cause an error if combined with spelled-out operators.

^

Boost relevance. Multiplies the relevance of the preceding term by the number following the symbol, affecting the sorting of the search results. Example: paranoid android^5 gives results containing the term "android" 5x the relevance as results containing only the word "paranoid", and will sort them closer to the start of the search results.

\

Escapes the immediately following character, so that it is treated as text, rather than as a special character.

( )

Used to group search clauses.

[ ]

Closed interval range search. Example: title:["Frogstar" TO "Magrathea"] will find every title in the alphabetic range between "Frogstar" and "Magrathea", including"Frogstar" and "Magrathea".

{ }

Open interval range search. Example: title:{"Frogstar" TO "Magrathea"} will find every title in the alphabetic range between "Frogstar" and "Magrathea", excluding"Frogstar" and "Magrathea".