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Michael,
I will be very interested in what others have to say as well.

We have similar search options to what Michelle mentioned:

1) Alphabetical browse by collection name
2) Browse by administrative unit (I am not sure this is useful for 
anyone except us)
3) Browse by local subject areas
4) Browse by local geographic regions
5) Advanced search, 3 fields, boolean operators. Options are:
* Keywords/entire document
* Author/Creator
* Biographical/Historical Note
* Box Inventory (everything in dsc type="in-depth")
* Scope and Content Note
* Subject headings (all our controllaccess tags)
* Title of collection

That said, we are revisiting this at some point.  I think those are too 
many options for the advanced search and not overly helpful.  We have 
done some very preliminary user testing and the browse by subject areas 
seems to be the most useful access point for users who start out on our 
"ArchivesUM" site.  When they do go to the advanced search, they rarely 
check for the different options, and just do a keyword search.  I am 
probably the only person who makes use of the advanced searching features.

I can get some statistics on what people have used to search on our site 
(I also have signed up to try to use Google Analytics, but haven't taken 
the time yet to actually look at results there) and what I have seen so 
far, is, for example, that the number one searched term on our advanced 
search page is "Maryland."  Since that word appears in every finding 
aid, I am guessing some people are getting frustrated and going away. 
It is my guess, because I don't have all the data yet, that most of the 
people who get into our finding aids from off campus do so through 
Google or another search engine, rather than using our internal 
search/browse features.

I am interested in hearing also from people what their displays look 
like in the search results.  For example, we have found that while 
Alphabetical browse by collection name is a very easy way for staff to 
quickly get to known collections, it's not useful for someone unfamiliar 
with collections, because what they get is basically a list of names and 
links to abstracts and finding aids.  I've thought about expanding this 
list to include abstracts on the initial browse page (this is what we do 
with our subject results, and it seems to work much better for people).

Did that make any sense?

Jennie

Michele Combs wrote:
> Michael *
> 
> We're in the process of implementing an EAD search interface using
> swish-e, though we haven't yet put it up for public use so we don't
> know how our users will like it.  After consultation with our public
> service folks we've chosen to offer the following four options:
> 
> 1) Alphabetical browse by collection name (titleproper and subtitle)
> or creator name  (originator/persname or originator/corpname)
> 
> 2) Browsing by particular local subject areas -- these are our own
> subject areas we're particularly strong in, not LCSH; for example
> "Church and clergy" "New York State" "Dance/theatre."  For this we're
> using <subject source="local"> in the EAD.
> 
> 3) "Quick Search" has a single text box, full-text search
> 
> 4) "Advanced search" has 3 fields with Boolean operators, options for
> each field are:
> 
> * collection title (titleproper and subtitle) * creator
> (originator/persname or originator/corpname) * subject (lumps
> together persname, corpname, title, geogname, subject, occupation) *
> year (YYYY, looks at unitdate for collection as a whole, not at the
> individual c0# level) * type of material (genreform) * itemtitle
> (searches all <unittitle> elements at all c0# levels) * any
> 
> We're still working out some quirks and finalizing how we want the
> search results displayed, but we hope that we will have included
> most, if not all, options that researchers might need.
> Interestingly, our public service staff seem most excited about it
> for their own use, anticipating that it will help them substantially
> in answering reference questions, etc.
> 
> Michele C.
> 
> 
> -=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=- Michele R. Combs 
> [log in to unmask] Manuscripts Processor Special Collections Research
> Center Syracuse University Library 222 Waverly Avenue Syracuse, NY
> 13244 (315) 443-2697 -=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=--=-
> 
>>>> [log in to unmask] 5/11/2007 3:11:04 PM >>>
> Hi all,
> 
> Here at Yale we are gearing up for replacing our finding aids 
> database and the question of EAD tag searching has come up.  Our 
> current database offers no field searching options, so we're starting
>  fresh in that regard and may or may not choose to provide any such 
> options.  In the past I've seen shops that have focused on allowing 
> users to search certain sections of finding aids - say <bioghist> or
>  <scopecontent> - and others that have focused on enabling searches
> of access point elements - such as <persname>, <subject>, etc.  All 
> options are potentially on the table.
> 
> In your experience, what EAD-element specific searches are useful to
>  your users?  Are there any fields that are particularly useful to
> the good folks who do public services?  I have my own thoughts on the
>  subject, but I very much want to hear some different perspectives.
> 
> Thanks!
> 
> Mike Rush
> 
> 
> 
> ____________________________________ Michael Rush  |
> [log in to unmask] Processing Archivist / EAD Coordinator Beinecke
> Rare Book & Manuscript Library Yale University P.O. Box 208240 New
> Haven, CT 06520-8240 Tel: (203) 432-8123  Fax: (203) 432-4047

-- 
Jennie A. Levine
Curator for Historical Manuscripts
Archives and Manuscripts Department
2208 C Hornbake Library
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
(301)314-2712
(301)314-2709 FAX
[log in to unmask]
http://www.lib.umd.edu/histmss