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Help Using the Newspaper Index

  1. Type in your search term, or select one from the thesaurus. Except for exact searches, capitalization is not required
  2. Limit your search to one of the newspapers, or leave at "All"
  3. Enter start and end dates to limit your search, or leave blank to search all dates
  4. Click on "Search"
  5. Depending on the type of search, you will view matching headlines, subject headings, or obituary names. Selecting linked text will run a new search on that specific subject heading or name and find associated obituaries or headlines
You can limit a search with a start or end date (or both). The index does not cover anything from either newspaper before 1987. The Start Date defaults to approximately 2 years before the present time; the End Date defaults to the most recent data entered into the database (generally 1 or up to 2 months prior to today). Always enter dates in the form of mm/dd/yyyy (such as 02/24/2007).

Subject Heading Searches
Subject (keyword) searches: Search for a matching subject heading. Enter the term(s) you are looking for, using AND, OR, or NOT to establish relationships between the terms. Capitalization is not required for any of the terms. The only punctuation you should use in a Subject (keyword) search is parentheses to group search terms, or nest them: montana and (gold or coal) finds Coal - Montana - Pipelines, Gold Mines and Mining - Montana, and others. Use an asterisk to truncate words: teach* finds teachers, teaching, etc. You may also find a term by browsing the thesaurus (see below).

Thesaurus, and Subject (exact) searches: Browse the thesaurus to find a subject term, or cross references. When you select a term, you will be taken to the New Search page, so that you can also limit the search to certain date(s) or either newspaper. Since this is an exact search, the precise punctuation from the Thesaurus listing must be used. If you switch to a Subject (keyword) search to look for other similar subject headings, you must remove all commas, dashes, periods, and parentheses, and reformulate the search by the guidelines above for a Subject (keyword) search.

Headline Searches
Headlines can be searched using the same methods as for a Subject (keyword) search (see above). Unfortunately, prior to 1999, the software used for data entry limited all headlines to a length of 60 characters (including spaces). For this reason, it is sometimes a good idea to search with appropriate subject headings if you can not find a specific headline with a headline search.

Obituary Searches
Obituaries can only be searched by name, and limited by date and/or newspaper. Capitalization of names is not required. You can browse a group of names by doing a simple search on a single name (i.e., jordan), which will list names with Jordan as a first, middle, or last name. You can broaden your search even more by truncating the name (west* finds West, Westley, Westlake, etc.).

First, last, and middle names can be combined to narrow your search. Type the name as a phrase with last name then first name (without commas): Grant Kathy finds Grant, Kathy; or combine the different parts of the name with AND, in which case the order does not matter: kathy and grant. You can use OR to broaden your search: faith or victor. Parentheses can also be used to combine or group terms: (faith or victor) and boy will find The Boy, Faith Eagleman or The Boy, Victor Peter, or both if they are in the database.