Search FAQ

Not sure how to find something? This FAQ may help locate the most relevant sources of information.

Search SOLs

The "Search SOLs" link in the upper right hand corner of the page allows one to find any case studies, activities, web resources, and primary sources related to a particular Standard of Learning.

Use tag clouds

Tags are the list of keywords beneath each item. When a relevant source is found, click on tags to find similar items. Examples of tags include "taxes," "mining," and "graphs."

Look within different categories for specific types of items

The toolbar at the top of the page lets one easily navigate between case studies, activities, web resources, and primary sources. Interested in finding web resources that have to do with the economy and finance? It may be easier to navigate from within the web resources section.

Use the search feature to look for different types of resources

Trying to find a variety of sources related to Douglas Wilder? Try typing "douglas wilder" or "Douglas Wilder" (without the quotation marks) in the search field at the upper right of the page. This will yield any case studies, activities, web resources, and teaching sources related to Douglas Wilder.

Try variants of the same word

  1. Singular vs. Plural: Sometimes searching for "elections" rather than "election" will get different results.
  2. Capital vs. lower case: When in doubt, try both.
  3. Simpler versions of the same word may yield better results.

Keep it simple

Unless the exact phrasing is known, avoid using a long string of words.

The search feature does not use Boolean searches. Lucene searches may be implemented sometime in the future. In the meantime, users cannot search using words like AND, OR, NOT, quotation marks, or wildcards such as ? or *.

Keep looking!

Sometimes a simple search will yield many pages of results. Notice that the same sources keep showing up at the top? The search does not sort by relevance, but is likely different than other searches in its results.

The sources you see at the top have been added recently. The sources on the last page are some of the first items in the digital archive. One may find relevant sources on page 1, page 10, or page 17. The bottom of each search page lets one navigate between pages of search results, and even skip to the beginning or end of the search.


If you have more questions, feel free to contact us.