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British Fiction, 1800–1829: A Database of Production, Circulation & Reception

How to Use the Database: Searching & Browsing

British Fiction, 1800–1829 enables users to locate records in a number of straightforward ways: by keyword searches, by multiple-field searches, and by browsing through one of three indexes. Please note that it is possible to search only the primary bibliographical records, and not the contextual materials.

In addition to providing search fields (enabling both the entry of free text and the selection from drop-down menus), the search and browse pages also provide contextual help via highlighted field names.

Users have the choice to include or exclude hyphens and apostrophes when searching, as this will not affect the query: e.g. you can opt to search for ‘Self-Control’ or ‘Self Control’, ‘Almack's’ or ’Almacks’, etc.

Users can also exclude data from searches by prefixing any of the free-text fields with a ‘-’ (i.e. minus sign/dash), which functions as logical NOT.

Keyword Searches
Keyword searches allow for the most basic and wide-ranging of queries, enabling users to search across all fields for a particular term or set of terms drawn from the Author, Full Title, Publisher Imprint, and Notes fields.

You can choose to conduct keyword searches for ‘whole words’ or for ‘partial terms’ by selecting the appropriate radio button—e.g. using the ‘whole words’ option, you must type out ‘dedication’, ‘dedicated’, etc: searching for ‘dedicat’ will return no results; however, using ‘partial terms’, ‘dedicat’ will return records with ‘dedication’, ‘dedicated’, and any other similar variants with this common root.

Representative examples include:

x searching ‘waverley dedication’ locates ‘Dedication to the Author of Waverley’ in the Notes field for Richard Thomson’s Tales of an Antiquary (1828).

x searching ‘scott dedication’ returns 14 records, including items with ‘John Byerley Scott’ as Author and a ‘Dedication to George Brewer, Esq.’; James Hogg’s ‘Dedication in verse “to the Right Honourable Lady Anne Scott, of Buccleuch” ’; Abel Moysey’s ‘Dedication “to Walter Scott, Esq.” ’, and so on.

Click here to go to the top of the page.x searching ‘#scott dedication’ returns 401 items, which contain ‘dedication’ but exclude ‘Scott’ from any of the four keyword fields.

Advanced Searches
Advanced searches allow users to query against a variety of bibliographical data, as well as searching for titles that contain material drawn from any of the six contextual fields.

At present, the Advanced Search does not allow for partial-term searching: whole words must be entered or a nil result will be returned: e.g. searching for ‘prej’ will not return ‘prejudice’; similarly, ‘aust’ will not return ‘austen’.

Criteria are entered into or selected from the fields in one of three ways:

x as free text, in which words can be in any order (e.g. ‘jane austen’, ‘austen jane’, ‘austen, jane’); to search for records not containing the terms entered (e.g. ‘scott NOT walter’), prefix the term to be excluded with a minus sign/dash - (e.g. ‘scott -walter’). Fields which employ free text entry are Author/Translator, Title, and Notes; although the Publication date field allows free-text entry, only digits should be entered into the search boxes!

x via dropdown boxes, which allow users to select a single term from a limited list of criteria. Fields which employ dropdown boxes are Gender, Place of publication, and Primary publisher.

x using checkboxes, which allow users to search for records which contain any or all of the ticked secondary materials. Fields which use checkboxes are newspaper Advertisements, Anecdotal records, contemporary Libraries, Publishing papers, contemporary Reviews, and Subscription lists.

Users can enter criteria into single fields (e.g. searching for all works authored by Jane Austen, all titles containing ‘horror’, all female-authored works, all records containing reviews, etc.), or refine their queries by filling multiple fields (e.g. searching for all male-authored works published in Edinburgh Click here to go to the top of the page.between 1810 and 1814, all works published by Longman & Co containing publishing records.

As an alternative to searching, users can also browse records via three Indexes: by Author, by Title, and by Publisher. Clicking on the appropriate letter of any of these Indexes (which are always available on the Browse pages), will take the user to the appropriate list of results.

x Selecting a letter from the Author Browse will generate the Author Index: a list of authors and the number of titles written by them. Multiple authors of individual titles (e.g. Anna Maria and Jane Porter) are indexed individually; consequently, the total number of works listed for each author includes both individually and collaboratively written works. Clicking on the author name will then take the user to a detailed listing of their individual titles, clicking upon which will take users to the Title Details page.

x Selecting a letter from the Title Browse takes users automatically to an alphabetical listing of works; clicking on the title name here will take users directly to the Title Details page.

x Selecting a letter from the Publisher Browse will generate a list of concerns and the number of titles for which they appear as primary publisher. Clicking on the publisher name will then take users to the Publisher Index, which provides a list of authors and works. Clicking on the title will then take users Click here to go to the top of the the Title Details page.

Viewing the Results
Clicking on the name of a title–whether as a result of a Search or of Browsing—will take users to the Title Details page. This page provides full bibliographical details for the work concerned, including Year, Author(s), Translator(s), Gender, full Title, Publication imprint, Format, Catalogue numbers, Notes, Further edtiions, and the DBF record number. For full details, please see the section on Reading the Records.

Following the bibliographical details are a series of buttons, covering the contextual material: newspaper Advertisements, Anecdotal records, contemporary Libraries, Publishing papers, contemporary Reviews, and Subscription lists. If there is any material for a title from any of these categories, then the relevant button will be lit blue, with black text; if there is no information available, it will be greyed out: hovering the cursor over the button will also provide information on the availability of additional material.

If more than one title has been returned, a button to jump to the next record in the sequence, along with the title of the next work, appears on the right-hand side of the page; for subsequent titles in the sequence, options to visit the previous record will appear on the left.

Viewing Contextual Material
To view the contextual material, simply click on the highlighted button. A secondary window will appear on top of the main Title Details page and contains the additional matter. Users can then view this material in the new window; options to print and close appear at the bottom of each page. (A quick way of navigating to the top or bottom of these pages is to press the Home or End keys respectively on the keyboard.) At the top of all contextual material pages are details of the Author/Translator, the short Title, and the Year of publication, as well as the section heading.

The window can be enlarged or reduced by hovering the cursor at the edge of the box until it turns into a pair of arrows: click the mouse button and drag the window enlarge or reduce it. Alternatively, the window can be maximised or minimised (as well as closed) via the title bar.

To view another category of contextual material, simply click on the respective button: this will replace the contents of the secondary window with the new information, as well as bringing it to the fore of the screen if it has disappeared.

Users can move to subsequent/previous records without having to close the secondary window: clicking on the contextual information buttons will replace the contents of the secondary window with the relevant material for the new title.

 © 2004 Project Director: Professor Peter Garside;
 Research Associates: Dr Jacqueline Belanger, Dr Sharon Ragaz;
 Database/Website Developer: Dr Anthony Mandal
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