Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2011 Issue

AE Searches:  New & Improved (but where are they?)

Keyad

Search for keywords in "Search for keywords here" box, or click "Advanced Search."

The Americana Exchange has undergone some major changes in the past few days, but none is more important than the way the site presents its searches. AE has three major databases:  upcoming auction listings, Books for Sale, and the AE Bibliographic Database, now over 3 million records strong. The auction search offers the world's only unified search of new book listings from over 150 worldwide auction houses. Books for Sale searches members' for sale listings, a number smaller than the Amazon-sized book sites but concentrated in collectible material (no Print on Demand, no dollar books). The AE Database contains auction and other bibliographic results and records, most with prices.

 

Where is the new search box?

 

Many regular AE users may be asking, "but where is the search box?" On the old site, each database had its own dedicated search page. No more. They all can be searched from the same place. That place is like the ketchup bottle in the refrigerator. It's hard to see because it's right in front of you. On this page, the home page, and most others, it's right there near the top, with "Search for keywords here" in red in the box. Look up! Click on that box and that red phrase disappears, allowing you to enter your search terms.

 

Selecting the right database.

 

That still leaves the question of which database you are searching if there are no longer three separate search pages. The answer is they are all performed from the same box. To the left of the search box are three circles, labeled "AE Database," "Upcoming Auctions," and "Books for Sale." Just click on the circle for the database you wish to search.

 

Advanced Search.

 

That explains how to handle a keyword search, but what if you want to search for a specific author, title, date range and such? Simple. To the right of the keyword search box is a link to "Advanced Search." Click on that link and the advanced search box appears. Go ahead. Try it.

 

Here are our recommendations. If searching for an obscure term or phrase, or searching the upcoming auctions, use the keyword search. Obscure phrases won't have too many matches, and the upcoming auctions database never has more than about 5,000-30,000 records in it at one time. You won't be overwhelmed with matches not relevant to your needs, and you will be able to look through everything that is there quickly. You won't miss a thing. On a recent days, I found about a dozen matches for "Twain." That's easy to look through. At the same time, I found over 700 matches in Books for Sale, over 11,000 in the AE Database. That's too many to sift through. Use the advanced search to better target your search or enter multiple words in the keyword box to limit matches.

 

Tip:  Placing multiple words in the keyword box will search listings with all of those terms present. Putting those terms within quotation marks will only find those terms as an exact phrase (in that order).  Example:  "Huckleberry Finn" (with quotations marks) will not find a book about huckleberries written by Mickey Finn; Huckleberry Finn (without quotation marks) will.

 

If you would like to try a search now without losing this page, here is a link that will open the search box and site in a new window. Click here.


Posted On: 2011-01-25 00:00
User Name: Wantagh

General Benjamin Grierson


Rare Book Monthly

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