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Home Collections The State of Wisconsin Collection Great Lakes Maritime History Project: How To Use

How to use this Site


There are three ways of executing a search:

  1. Collection or Subject
    Click on a preselected subject heading for images or sound, type a subject heading in the browse box. The results will be displayed as grid, or gallery, of thumbnail images. Clicking on the image itself, at anytime in any format, will pull up the full screen image, visual image or link to the sound recording. Sound recordings lack any visual representation and are best viewed as brief or full records. They are displayed with a choice of access method and cataloging number in the gallery display. This method of searching provides an easy introduction to the site, allowing the user to browse through a gallery of related images. By viewing the full records for each image, the user can explore the multiple subject headings used to catalogue each item as suggestions for further searches. The subject headings provided are but a small sample of the many included in the list of authorized terms. We have made available a list of subject terms (pdf format) used for this project as well as a list of terms for ship types (pdf format) (not all of which are represented in the project).
  2. Keywords
    Enter any combination of keywords, whether single words or a phrase, connected by the operators: AND, to limit the search to records including all of the terms entered; OR, to expand the search to any of these; NOT, to exclude a term from the search. Then click on the search button. This method will search all relevant fields, including extended descriptions, for words or phrases that match those entered in the search box. The results of this search will automatically be displayed as a sequence of brief records.
  3. Multiple Fields
    Type in or select terms from the drop-down list for the fields provided. You can further limit your search by activating one of the radio buttons or check boxes presented at the bottom of the page. Click on the search button after selecting the desired combination of choices. Results will be displayed as a sequence of brief records. This search method enables the user to restrict the search to specific choices and combinations of criteria.

We have prepared a list of ship names (pdf format) for all vessels included in this project. To limit your search only to the ship name and date of construction, use the Guided Search options "All of these" in "Ship Name".

A Note on Truncation

Use ? to truncate a word:

  • steam? finds "steamer" or "steamers" or "steamboat" or "steamboats."
  • cargo ship? finds "cargo" and "ship" or "ships" or "shipping."

Use ? for internal truncation:

  • chris? colum? finds "Christopher" and "Columbus" or "Columbo"