Which Search should I use?

The TCI Library offers users three different search engines.  Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.  See the "Using" pages for each search for details.  In General:

  • Basic Search is recommended for general searches.  The default search order is different, depending on how Basic Search is started. 
    • If started using the search box in the upper right of the window, the default search order is Newest First (chronological), based on the date added to the Library.
    • If started from the Menu Bar (Search / Basic Search), the default search order is Alphabetical.
    • To reorder the results, change the entry in the "Ordering:" box and click Search.
  • Advanced Search is useful if more than 50 results are returned with Basic Search using multiple keywords. Searches can be limited to a single Library Category, to Names only or to Descriptions only. Select Search / Advanced Search from the Menu Bar.
  • Google Search does not depend on the TCI Library's Names and Descriptions.  It can also search the text of many documents, so may return more results.  It has a more advanced user interface, so is recommended for power users. Select Search / Google Search from the Menu Bar.


Basic and Advanced Searches limit responses to 50 matches per search.  See the directions for each search type for details.  If your search returns 50 or more searches, try adding more keywords or more specific keywords.  If you still can't structure a search that returns under 50 matches, try the Google Search.

Since the Library passed the 10,000 documents milestone, finding specific information can feel like "looking for a needle in a haystack."  One search tool has not proven effective for all conditions.  The Library staff is searching for other alternatives.

In many cases, the same techniques used in hunting through paper files apply in the TCI Library.  Finding references to articles in footnotes, bibliographies or BSP index documents will often turn up better results than a simple electronic search.  Having a specific document title or BSP number to find is always helpful.

Let us know what works for you.  Use the Contact Us link in the Menu Bar.

Recent Contributors

Thanks for new documents from David Gruger, Jeff Lamb, Walt Aydelotte, Dennis Hock, Steve Flocke, Paul Wills, Sam Etler, Fred Haynes, John Novack, Clint Gilliland, Steve Cichorsky and Karl Brose.

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