21 June 2017

Intelligent Searching

When Marian Press, a retired librarian and active genealogist gave her first presentation, Are You Really Finding It All When You Search?: Mining Databases for Every Nugget of Information, at #OGSCong2017 it was my pleasure to chair the session.

Marian started out covering the basics, Boolean  search operators: AND, OR and NOT. Whichever database you search they are the foundation of intelligent searching.

In thanking Marian I summarized what I saw as the key points:

1. Read the help screen. Each database has its idiosyncrasies. Time invested in understanding them will be time you won't thrash about with unproductive searches.
2. Start by taking time to formulate a specific search, then gradually broaden it for more results. Marian acknowledged that many people advise starting broad and refining.
3. Look beyond the first page. You may not be lucky on the first page of hits.


4. Specifically for FamilySearch, log on with a free account to get additional results and capabilities.


Linda Reid said...

Members of Toronto Branch of OGS will be privileged to hear Marian give the same presentation at our meeting on June 26. Check www.torontofamilyhistory.org for details

jon said...

And Google has a dandy self directed course caller Power Searching with Google


Highly recommended by me, a graduate