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Help & FAQ

How do I browse?

The browsing option allows the user to look at a series of items organized into groups. On the menu at the top of the page, there is an option for "Browse Items". The drop down menu from this option also lets you "Browse the Scrapbook", "Browse by Item Type", and "Browse by Subject".

  • Browse Items

    "Browse Items" shows you individual items, and you can sort them by title, creator (e.g., author, photographer, and so on) or item type.

  • Browse the Scrapbook

    "Browse the Scrapbook" lets you look through the scrapbook page by page, from cover to cover. At any point, you can select a specific page to see it in better detail, and to select individual items on the page for more information on them.

  • Browse by Item Type

    "Browse by Item Type" will give you an alphabetical list of types, such as advertisements, announcements, books, cards, etc. If there is more than one item of that type, you will see a number after the type. Select a type to see the item or items of that type.

  • Browse by Subject

    "Browse by Subject" will give you an alphabetical list of subject headings, such as "football" or "concerts". If there is more than one item of with a particular subject, you will see a number after the subject heading. Select a subject heading to see the item or items that are associated with it.

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How do I do a basic search?

  • Keyword:

    Keyword searching is flexible – you can use natural language to find items. It is best to keep your search simple, for example, just a few keywords. Keyword search looks through all the fields that describe the item (known as the metadata), and will return items that contain ANY of your keywords.

  • Boolean:

    The Boolean search works just like the keyword search except that you can use truncation, that is, you can search for words that begin with your search term. Truncation uses an asterisk. For example, "railroad*" will pick up "railroad" and "railroads", and "cat*" will get "cat," "cats," "catalogs," "catamarans," and so on.

  • Exact Match:

    Exact match means that the search results will contain your search phrase exactly in the form you typed. For example, "train ticket" will only retrieve items containing that exact phrase, anywhere in the item. You cannot use truncation with exact match.

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How do I use the advanced search function?

    You can

    • Just enter your keyword and select "Search for Items" at the bottom of the form.
    • Enter your keyword, then refine your search with as many as you want of the advanced features and select "Search for Items" at the bottom of the form.
    • Leave the keyword field blank and only use the advanced features.
  • Narrow by Specific Fields

    Choose the field to be searched, choose how to search, and enter your search term. If you want to require several fields (or the same field for several terms), you can select "Add a Field". The search will automatically require BOTH of your search terms (unless you change the dropdown "AND" to "OR").

    Some of the common fields are:

    • Creator, like author, or photographer
      E.g., Gates, Ruth Dorcas
      Note: For lots of items, the creator is listed as Unknown
    • Title, the title of the item
      E.g., Black cat cutout
    • Subject, the topic of the item
      E.g., Cats
    • Type, what kind of resource the item is
      E.g., Halloween decorations
    • Date, such as the date of an event, or a photo
      E.g, 1924-03-02 (March 2, 1924)
      Note: Items with no obvious dates are labelled 1925 (the last date in the scrapbook)

    Choose how to search:

    • Contains/Does not contain:Your term will appear/not appear anywhere in the field
      Note: Your term will automatically be expanded (e.g., "cat" will include cats, catalog, and so on)
    • Is exactly: Looks for an exact match for your search term
      E.g., "Type" "is exactly" "Halloween decorations"
    • Is empty: Finds items where this field has no value entered
    • Is not empty: Finds items where this field is has any value entered
    • Starts with:
    • Finds items where the field begins with your search term
      Note: This will work with characters, e.g., "subject" "starts with" "librar"
    • Ends with: Finds items where field ends with your search term or characters
  • Featured Items:

    This restricts your search to items that have (or have not) appeared in the "Featured Item" section on the homepage.

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Other FAQs

  • How do I cite images?

    Preferred citations can be found on each individual item page.

  • How do I find out more information about copyright?

    All copyright information can be found on the Terms of Use page.

  • Are there other digital scrapbooks like Ruth's? Where can I find them?

    Ruth's scrapbook is a part of a larger collection, The Notable Women of Simmons College Digital Scrapbook Collection. These scrapbooks have been digitized by previous Digital Libraries classes at Simmons College.

  • How can I share an item I find?

    Each item contains links underneath to share the item on various social media platforms including Delicious, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, among others, as well as email.

  • How can I see a full-screen high resolution version of an item?

    If the item is selected, it can be seen in a larger format. It can then be selected again to activate the zoom function. All the images seen in the scrapbook are in JPEG format.

  • Who can I contact for additional information?

    Any additional information can be obtained by contacting the Simmons College Archives via email at archives@simmons.edu, via telephone at 617-521-2441, or via mail at Simmons College Archives, Beatley Library, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115.

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