The Canadiana Discovery Portal supports a number of search capabilities that go beyond simple keyword searching. If you're having trouble finding something or want a little more control over your searches, try some of the following:
The standard search is to search for one or more keywords, but you can also search for an exact phrase. For example, compare the results you get with canada pacific railway versus "canada pacific railway".
You can use the wildcard characters ? and * within single keywords (but not within quoted phrases) either in the middle or at the end of the term. The ? matches any one character, while * matches any number of characters. For example, to find either labor or labour, search for labo*r. To find either canadien or canadienne, search for canadien*. To find any of the numbers 1980 through 1989, search for 198?.
The normal search behaviour is to find items that contain at least one of the words or phrases in your query, with multiple matches generally being ranked higher. If you want to require that a particular word or phrase appears, you can prefix it with a +. You can also specify that a word or phrase should not appear in the record by prefixing it with a -. For example:
+"chinese times" +february -199?
means that the phrase "chinese times" and the word february must be present, but 1990, 1991, etc. must not be present.
The Discovery Portal will try to match your query terms on all of the descriptive information in the record: title, author/creator, subject, notes, and so forth; as well as the full text of the item, if such is in the index.
The Discovery Portal uses Solr on the back end to power its searches. Solr supports a rich array of additional search capabilities, many of which we expect to make available through the portal interface and the API over time.