How to Search the OLAC-L Archives

How to Search the OLAC-L Archives

The OLAC-L archives contain the notebook logs of all messages posted to the list. To obtain a list of the logs currently available in the OLAC-L archives, send the message: INDEX OLAC-L to: listserv@oclc.org

To obtain a copy of a specific file, send LISTSERV the command: GET (filename) (filetype) where filename and filetype (without the parentheses) are replaced by the actual names and types shown in the list of files.

The remainder of this file will deal with searching the contents of the notebook logs or messages database.

 

To find out if there was previous discussion of a topic on OLAC-L (or messages posted by a particular individual) you will need to search the OLAC-L message database. Essentially, you will perform a keyword search on all the messages posted to OLAC-L which have been archived and indexed.

The OLAC-L messages database can be searched either via e-mail or through the World Wide Web. All the OLAC-L messages posted as of February 1998 are archived and searchable online.

 

USING THE WORLD WIDE WEB TO SEARCH THE OLAC-L ARCHIVES

You can search the OLAC-L archives at http://listserv.oclc.org/archives/olac-l.html

You will be presented with a month-by-month directory of all messages posted to the OLAC-L since February 1998 with the current month shown first. If you choose to search the entire database, you will be presented with a form in which you can specify your subject search string, the poster's name or a portion of it, and any date qualifers you want to use.

You may receive a message indicating that you need to login.  If this is the first time you have searched the archives or if you have forgotten your login information click on the link provided to get a new listserv password first.  Then follow the instructions on the screen.
 

USING E-MAIL TO SEARCH THE OLAC-L ARCHIVES

To use e-mail to search the OLAC-L message database, send an e-mail message to:listserv@oclc.org

An e-mail search must be formulated in a particular syntax and must use specific wording. The upper-cased words shown in the following model must be included in the search, in the order shown, though they do not have to be in upper case in an actual search. The words shown in parentheses are to be replaced by your actual search terms and date qualifiers, without the parentheses:

SEARCH (search arguments) IN OLAC-L (date limitations)

SEARCH ARGUMENT

The Search Arguments segment supports truncation, Boolean logic, and nesting within parentheses.

DATE QUALIFIERS

The Date Limitations segment (without the brackets) is optional except when you are doing a wildcard search. When dates are used they must be given in the form YY/MM/DD, though single digits can be used for months 1-9 (January - September) or the first to ninth days of a month.

To obtain all messages posted on a specific day or days regardless of subject, use the wildcard * as the search argument, e.g., SEARCH * IN OLAC-L (date limitations).

To search all messages posted after a certain date use:
SINCE YY/MM/DD, e.g., SINCE 99/7/14 or
FROM YY/MM/DD, e.g., FROM 01/7/14

To search all messages posted prior to a certain date use:
TO YY/MM/DD, e.g., TO 01/5/23

To search all messages posted within a specific time period use:
FROM YY/MM/DD TO YY/MM/DD, e.g., FROM 02/2/25 TO 02/3/2

To search all messages posted for a specific date combine FROM and TO, using the same date in each:
FROM YY/MM/DD TO YY/MM/DD, e.g., FROM 02/7/31 TO 02/7/31

While the use of date qualifiers IS optional except for wildcard searches we strongly urge that you use them in all searches. The messages database is so large (54,736 messages as of 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on November 6, 1998) that without date qualifiers the results of your search may be unmanageably large.

BOOLEAN OPERATORS

Here's a brief summary of some more advanced search features.

The Boolean "AND" operator is implicit:

      Search hypertext hypermedia in OLAC-L

You can also make the "AND" operator explicit:

      Search hypertext AND hypermedia in OLAC-L

The Boolean "OR" operator is explicit:

      Search hypertext OR hypermedia in OLAC-L

The Boolean "NOT" operator is also explicit:

      Search hypertext NOT hypermedia in OLAC-L

Terms can be nested:

      Search (hypertext OR hypermedia) AND multimedia in OLAC-L

Instructions for limiting searches in the OLAC-L message database by date were given above.

WHERE QUALIFIER

It is possible to find all messages posted by a particular person by adding the "where" qualifier to a search, e.g.

SEARCH core IN OLAC-L WHERE SENDER CONTAINS 'Thomas'
[This will retrieve only those messages on that topic where the sender's name includes Thomas anywhere in the name. Since you are specifying a character string which may be part of a larger character string (e.g., Thomasina) note that it must be put in single quotation marks.]

SEARCH core IN OLAC-L WHERE SENDER IS NEUMEIST@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU
[This will retrieve only those messages on that topic where the poster had this specific e-mail address.]

SEARCH * OLAC-L WHERE SENDER IS NEUMEIST@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU
[This will retrieve all messages, regardless of topic, posted by NEUMEIST@ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU. Note, however, that if the poster has been subscribed under various e-mail addresses, this command will retrieve ONLY those messages posted from the address specified.]

It is possible to use both the SINCE qualifier and the WHERE qualifier in the same search, e.g., 
SEARCH core IN OLAC-L SINCE 02/04/27 WHERE SENDER CONTAINS 'MAC'