Browsing and Searching the Rye documents


Browsing and Searching

All the options described below are accessible from the searchbar on the left (link for mobiles here). The searchbar is also displayed on every document page. Click on an item to find out more:

NB After entering a search term by any of the means below, you will need to click on the Search button below the general Search box (at the top of the sidebar), or press the Enter key, to start the search. The Search Results page will then be displayed.

  • Browse - from the first or another document, or from a date
  • Free Search — enter any search term in the search box
  • Subject Category Search — choose a subject category from the Category drop-down list, e.g. occupations, if you want to search for all items in the category. Alternatively, if you only want to search for one item in a category (e.g. grocer), or a subset of items, you can copy and paste these from this Table of Categories into the Search box.
  • Name Search - choose a name from the Names drop-down list (contains names mentioned in the documents)
  • Wordlist Search — choose a search term from an edited list of words found in the documents

Search Results Page - all types of search take you here.

Browsing the Rye Documents

You can start reading from the First document, or click on a document  link on the document index (which is also available from the menu bar at the top of each page). Once you have displayed a document, you can click on a navigation arrow to move to the next document (< or >).

To start at a particular date - click on a month in the Browse by Date box near the bottom of the sidebar (link for mobiles here). Excerpts from the pages for that month will be displayed – click on a page number to display a full page.

Free Search

You can write your own search term in the Search Box in the sidebar (link for mobiles here), and click on the Search button. The Search Results page will be displayed.

To search for a phrase, enclose it in double quotes. To search for any of a number of terms, separate them with spaces (but note that phrases cannot be included in such a list - the system will search for the phrase without the other words). Some more complex searches are also available.

Subject Category Search

A drop-down list of subject categories that are mentioned in the documents has been provided in the sidebar (link for mobiles here) - use this if you want to search for all items in a category. For example, if you want to search for all words which refer to illness in the documents, clicking on this category will cause the words below to be entered in the search box:

ache disease ill lame pangs pains planet sick sickness sore toothache torment gripe gripped hurt

Alternatively, if you only want to search for one item in a category (e.g. planet), or a subset of items, you can copy and paste these from this Table of Subject Categories into the Search box (separate each item by at least one space).

Wordlist Search

It can be difficult to guess what is worth searching for in a smallish document archive, particularly one that is over four centuries old. An edited list of words actually found in the documents has therefore been provided in the sidebar (link for mobiles here), divided into sections by initial letter.

Suppose you want to find out if the word preach is in the archive of documents. If you try searching for preach you will have no luck – it is not there. But if you look in the wordlist, you can find similar words:

  • select N-R from the Choose initial letter drop-down list in the sidebar (link for mobiles here)
  • in the drop-down list below headed N-R Choices, start typing the word preach (or just scroll down) and you will find that the words preached and preacher appear. You can click on one of these, and it will appear in the Search Box

Note that searching for nouns also retrieves plurals, verbs retrieve other forms of the verb, and adjectives retrieve related adverbs (if these are found in the documents).

Search Results Page

When you perform a search, the Search Results page is displayed, which lists one excerpt from every page that contains the search term(s), with the term(s) highlighted in red. The number of hits on that page is indicated at the end of the excerpt (but a phrase search causes each word in each retrieved phrase being counted as a hit, as well each instance of the same word even where not in the phrase!). Occasionally the term will not be highlighted in red, usually because one or more letters is enclosed in square brackets or marked with strikethrough like this (because the letter is missing in the original document or deleted, respectively).

Click on Full page » below the excerpt to display that page; all the hits on the page will generally be highlighted in red (except if they include square brackets, in which case use CTRL+F to search for the term on the page).

Note that deleted words, which are normally displayed with strikethrough like this in the transcript, will not have a strikethrough in the excerpt, but they will do when you click through to the Full page.

To get back to the Search Results page, click on the Go Back button on the sidebar (or on the equivalent Browser button). If you are using the Wordlist search, you may find it helpful that when you click on the Go Back button, the Wordlist will stay at the point you were at when you performed your last search.

More complex searches

You can search for a word that appears on the same page as another word, or does not do so. For example, there are many references to 'apparitions' in the document, some of which refer to a kind of tableau that the Taylors saw in the windows of the house opposite theirs. If you want to restrict your search to pages which mention this tableau, type

+apparitions   +window

in the search box, to search for pages that include both these words.

Searches using the + sign will not look for plurals, unfortunately, so you may miss some hits containing apparition and/or windows! In which case, you may need to do another search for these.

If you are not interested in the tableau, you could search for

+apparitions   –window

(the words can be in any order) to retrieve pages that include the word apparitions but not the word window.