Searching the SAC Database

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Currently, the Southern Asia online collection is composed of five databases: Library of Congress Serials Collection, Official Indian Publications, Microfilming of Indian Publications Project, Roja Muthiah Research Library Collection, and the South Asia Microfilm Project. Each can be searched using the default or Unix Regex searching mechanism at the bottom of the search page.

Field Specification

The field menu items contain all of the possible fields within each of the databases. Four of the five current databases possess the same record structure and thus the same field names with output formatting based on a MARC record structure. Currently, the Library of Congress Serials database is the exception possessing its own record structure with output formatting based on its intrinsic record structure. In regard to the Serials database, fields specific to this database have been marked with an asterisc(*) to the right of the field name. Selection of these fields for searching will only work with the Serials database and will produce no results when these fields are used in conjunction with the other databases, vice versa. One must choose the correct field name for the correct database in order to obtain successful results. If a selected field does not correspond to the selected database, the following results page occurs:

SAC Search Results

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Three types of searches can be performed on the databases, though once a searchtype is selected, only this searchtype can be used for multiple Query Object searches.

Global Regular Expression Searches

The Global Regex searchtype allows the functionality of string specific searches throughout the specified field. The Global Regex operators are:
`_'matches any single character
`%'matches 0 or more characters of any value (This is the default).

The default operator for any 'Global' search is '%' and is added to the querystring automatically at input. This is also true for the '_' operator.
The default searchtype is is your best bet for individual string searches within a given field. operator.

Using both Global searchtypes, there is no need to prefix or suffix the '%' or '_' operators to your Query Object when doing a search. In order to achieve successful searches, do not include them anywhere in your Query Object!

As an example for using the Global: Match any single character '_xxx' searchtype, one might look for the following:

Database: LOC-Serials
Field: Title
Query object: 'alcutta'
Searchtype: Global: Match any single character '_xxx'

This search will find all records whose city field contains one letter followed by 'alcutta'.

Unix Regular Expression Searches

The Unix Regex searchtype provides access to the power of the UNIX standard regular expression syntax. The UNIX regular expression syntax provides far greater functionality than the Global syntax. The UNIX regex syntax does not use the '%' characters in the way the Global searchtype does (as outlined above). The syntax available for the Unix regex operators are:

'.'matches any single character
'^'When used as the first character in a regex, the caret character forces the match to start at the first character of the string
'$'When used as the last charactr in a regex, the dollar sign forces the match to end at the last character of the string
'[ ]'By enclosing a group of single characters withing square brackets, the regex will match a single character from the group of characters. If the ']' character is one of the characters you wish to match you may specifiy it as the first character in the group without closing the group (e.g. '[]abc]' would match any single character that was either ']', 'a', 'b', or 'c'). Ranges of characters can be specified within the group using the 'first-last' syntax (e.g. '[a-z0-9]' would match any lower case letter or a digit). If the first charactr of the group is the '^' character the regex will match any single character that is not contained within the group.
'*'If any regex element is followed by a '*' it will match zero or more instances of the regular expression.