Advanced Search Help

Advanced search help

Advanced Search is useful for conducting more refined, focused searches. When you have very specific identifying information about an object - such as ISBN number or published title - Advanced Search provides the tools you need to find an object quickly.

Advanced Search is also very useful if you want to limit the objects you view to those within a specific era, or view a set of objects based on some searchable commonality that you cannot easily access via the Collection filters. For example, if you wanted to view only objects that mention Mary Todd within their titles, you would enter Mary Todd into the "Title" search field under Advanced Search.

Entering a keyword, phrase, name or ID number into one of the Advanced Search fields means you are telling the Collection search engine to search only that one field for that keyword, phrase, name or ID number. It will not search universally, or in other fields of a record.

In general, the more fields you make use of during an advanced search query, the more limitations you're creating on your search query, which in turn leads to fewer, more refined, results. Therefore, if you repeatedly see "zero results" returned, you may be creating too many limits. Expand the parameters of your query by employing fewer fields, or using fewer keywords.

About category / object type

All of the objects in the Collection are assigned to one of nine categories. You can limit your search to a single category by selecting it in the drop-down menu in the advanced search tool.

About holding institutions

The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection is made up of many thousands of objects, which are jointly managed by two Indiana institutions: The Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne and the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis. Depending on where individual objects are housed, they will have one of these institutions listed as the "Holding Institution." You can limit your search to one of the holding institutions using this drop-down menu in the advanced search tool.

About titles

Titles simply refer to the names of objects in the Collection. In the case of books, documents, and publications, the title is the published name. For other objects, title refers to the name of the object. It should be noted that a number of objects in the Collection are "Untitled."

About object ID numbers

The Lincoln Collection is digitally stored in three separate databases, each with its own numbering standards. Therefore, depending on where an object originates it may have one of three different object ID number styles. The use of multiple databases also explains why this data field is referred to as an Object ID# instead of the traditional "accession number" (though some of the objects do follow the traditional accession numbering style).

The three possible object ID number styles:

  1. 71.2009.082.0003
  2. OC-0226
  3. 71200908400323

About origin date / publication year

Searching for a four-digit year or a span of years will return all objects that were made or published within the specified year or span of years. You can set the "Start" and "End" years to be the same to search a single year, or you can set them to be different to search within a span of years. You can also set either the "Start" or "End" year and leave the other open-ended for a larger set of results. For example, setting the "Start" year to 1820 and leaving the "End" year at "All years" will return all objects in the Collection from 1820 up to the most recent year. There are also objects in the Collection with an origin date of "Unknown." You have the option to include objects with "Unknown" dates in your search results.

About location / place made

Most often this is a city name, at times followed by a state or province abbreviation and sometimes a country. For some items, no "Location / Place Made" is known.

About format / materials

For the most part, this field contains information about the raw materials that compose an object, such as paper, metal, glass, cloth, etc. There is a finite list of materials populated in this field throughout the data records, and therefore you will see an auto-complete list appear when you begin entering a keyword into this field. You can also use the Materials filter to sort through specific material types.

About description

The description field contains the long description and provenance (if it exists) of an object. It provides the most comprehensive, descriptive background of an object. Therefore, this field typically contains the largest number of words for the search engine to search through.


These two numbers apply to books and serials only. ISBN is the International Standard Book Number used to identify books. ISSN is the International Standard Serial Number used to identify periodicals. (Note that books published prior to 1970 do not have ISBNs.)

About series

This field exists for books and publications only. Series refers to the name of a group of items, each with its own title, also bearing a collective title for the group as a whole. An example would be a series of books that fall under one umbrella title, but each book also has its own unique title within the series. If you know the name of a series that you expect is held by the Lincoln Collection, you can search for the series title in this field.

About publisher

This field does not exist for every record in the Lincoln Collection; only books, pamphlets, magazines, and newspapers may be searched by publisher. The publisher field contains the name of the publisher(s) and often the year of publication as well as the city / cities of publication. Therefore, you can conduct a search of this field with any of those pieces of information.