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Refining search results in the Texas Digital Archive (TDA)

Refine Your Selection

Please note: the options to Refine Your Selection only apply when TSLAC created the descriptive information for items; for example, items that TSLAC digitized. Some items or levels of browsing, such as "born-digital" records, will have fewer options for Refining Your Selection.

When viewing your search results in the TDA, you can use the sidebar on the left side of the screen to Refine Your Selection (see Figure 1, below).

screenshot of search results in the TDA with a red arrow pointing to Refine Your Selection
Figure 1.

Note Figure 1 is in table view. To switch to table view, click the icon shown in Figure 2, below:

red arrow pointing to table view icon
Figure 2.

To Refine Your Selection click the boxes that match the criteria you are looking for. For example, clicking “1860s” under the Date category will show only results that were created during the 1860s.

As you Refine Your Selection, options which are no longer relevant may still appear in the sidebar. Refresh your webpage to update the sidebar.

For example, in Figure 3 below, although “1860s” is selected and only 2 results appear, the page is still showing the same number of initial search results and we have the option to narrow our selection to Spreadsheets and Emails (formats that did not exist in the 1860s).

screenshot of the TDA with number of search results circled in red and red arrow pointing to format group types
Figure 3. Before refreshing the webpage.

In Figure 4 below, after refreshing the webpage, the page now shows 2 results and the options to Refine the Selection are appropriate to the search results remaining.

screenshot of the TDA with number of search results circled in red and red arrow pointing to types
Figure 4. After refreshing the webpage.

If Refining Your Selection has narrowed your search too much, click a box you have already selected to deselect it and re-broaden your search.

+Filter

Please note: although +Filter is a free-text search tool, the filters only apply when TSLAC has added descriptive information to a particular field. For example, choosing the Format field and searching for “photograph” may not retrieve results, but choosing the Description field and searching for “photograph” may be more successful. The +Filter option does not use partial word matches, so search results will show only exact matches.

When viewing search results, a +Filter button is displayed to the right of the search bar (see Figure 5, below).

screenshot of TDA search results with a red arrow pointing to the +Filter button
Figure 5.

To add a filter to your search, click the +Filter button and the search bar will expand. You can type in your search terms using the following fields:

  • Item Title
  • Alternative Title
  • Series Title
  • Identifier
  • Collection Name
  • Arrangement
  • Citation
  • Collector
  • Contributor
  • Creator
  • Description
  • Filename
  • Format
  • Geographic Term
  • Subject Term
  • Type
  • Date
  • Date range

Use the drop-down menu on the left side of the screen to choose which filter to apply, then type in your search term(s). Remember that the +Filter option does not use partial word matches, so search results will show only exact matches. You may want to try variations on your search terms. To apply the filter to your search, click the Add button (see Figure 6, below).

screenshot of TDA search results with red arrow pointing to the Add button for filters
Figure 6. Before clicking "Add".

As you add filters, options which are no longer relevant may still appear in the Refine Your Selection sidebar. Refresh your webpage to update the sidebar.

For example, in Figure 7, although the results are filtered to show only materials with the term “photograph” in the item’s Description field, the page is still showing the same number of search results as the initial search.

screenshot of TDA search results with number of results circled in red
Figure 7. Before refreshing the webpage.

In Figure 8, after refreshing the webpage, the page now shows the correct number of results and the options to Refine Your Selection have updated.

screenshot of TDA search results with number of results circled in red
Figure 8. After refreshing the webpage.

To add another filter, click the +Filter button at the top of the page. Once you have already applied a filter, you are unable to select it from the drop-down menu (see Figure 9, below).

screenshot of +Filter options in the TDA
Figure 9. "Description" is no longer an option because it was already used.

To edit or remove an existing filter, use the icons on the left side of the page in the Filters box (see Figure 10, below).

screenshot of TDA search results with filter options circled in red
Figure 10.

A description of these icons and their functions can be found in the legend of icons used in the TDA.

Page last modified: April 24, 2020