Using Advanced Search

Advanced Search is similar to Basic Search, but has additional capabilities to help limit searches by finding files of interest within a specific TCI Library category, or data type.

It uses commands that are different than many operating systems and internet search engines.  Please read the following and note the known issues at the end of this article.  Features details that are common with Basic Search are not repeated here.  See "Using Basic Search."

HINT: Click on the 'Print" icon on the right to open a text copy of this page in a new window for reference. Then click on Advanced Search to view the keyword entry box and try some searches.

To start an Advanced Search:

  • Click on Search / Advanced Search on the Menu Bar or click the Search Document icon (magnifying glass) if visible.
  • Enter your keyword or keywords in the “Search Terms” box.
  • If desired, limit the search results using the drop down boxes.
  • Click on "Search."

Keywords are matched to any word in the title and/or description.  These are added by TCI Library staff. Advanced Search does not search the contents of a file.

The keyword string including spaces between keywords is currently limited to 255 characters.

Each keyword must include two or more characters. One character keywords are ignored.

WARNING! If Advanced Search returns more than 1,000 documents that match your keywords, you are not seeing all the relevant documents in the Library.  Use more keywords or a category search to limit the number of matches.

By default, an Advanced Search is: all categories, alphabetical, all words and both title and description. To change the scope or order, use the following entries on the request form:

 “Select category” – Use the drop down box to select a single Library category from the list.  These are usually groups of related documents such as catalogs from a particular manufacturer, or technical reference documents (BSPs, GSPs, etc) on a related topic.  This is very handy if you know the most likely BSP division and section for a good result.

  “Search by Type” -- If you enter multiple keywords, the default is to return results containing any of the keywords. This may be limited by using the options in the drop down box (see examples).

Name is the title of the found result (highlighted in blue).
Description is the text below the name.


Search Examples: (Keywords underlined for clarity.)

 Keyword: -000-000

  •  Find documents with "-000-000" -- which are index BSPs 

Keyword: index

  • Find documents with "index" in the title and/or description. 

Multiple Keywords: Bell System

  • Search by “any words” to find any document with either bell or system.
  • Search by “all words” to find any document with both bell and system.
  • Search by “exact phrase” to find only documents with “bell system.”

 If you don't find the BSP you're looking for...

 ... try looking up a BSP number in one of the index documents and search for the full BSP number.  The titles and descriptions may not contain the search keywords you're using.  You can also try using the Google Search, which may find keywords within the files.

... try a different form of an abbreviation -- for example, WE, W.E. or WEco.

... try the Google Search.

Since this site is a work in progress, recommendations for additional keywords for any document are always welcome.

Please use the "Contact Us" link to send corrections, suggestions and additions. 


Known search issues

Searches may fail if strange characters are entered into the search box.
This can happen when using copy-and-paste to move text from an html email to the search box.  In some cases, the characters are not visible, so you won't know they're there!  If a search returns 0 results, try typing in the search string and restart the search.

New User?

Read the articles under "Introduction" in the black menu bar above.

Recent Contributors

Thanks for new documents from Jeff Lamb, Chuck Hensley, John Novack, Paul Fassbender, Clint Gilliland, Steve Cichorsky, John Gilbert, Chuck Batson, Alan David, Steve Flocke, Paul Wills, Dave Gruger, Jim Prather, John Stancliff and Sam Etler.

Please send a file to add your name to this list!

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Hints for using the TCI Library

"Menu Bar" for site navigation.
Many menu choices are hidden until you mouse over the menu.  If you want help getting started, see the links under the word "Introduction" in the Menu Bar.
The user interface is oriented toward the user’s choice to either Browse or Search for information.  The Browse the Library menu entry offers many quick links to move around the Library quickly.  Try it!

Three search options.
The Library’s keyword-based searches, called Basic Search and Advanced Search, accept keywords as short as 2 characters (WE, AE, etc.) and search strings up to 255 characters.  If you get more than 1,000 items, refine your search or try the Google Search option.
Library INBOX.
The INBOX may hold some files that have been submitted but not fully processed into the Library.  These are often topics of current discussion on the TCI Listserv.
Finding BSPs.
Many BSPs are currently only identified by BSP number. If a text search doesn’t produce a BSP, try looking in one of the many BSP index documents to find a BSP number for the product you are researching just as you would do if referencing a paper library of the BSPs. Then enter the BSP number in the search box.



Telephone Collectors International was incorporated under the laws of the state of Kansas on May 13, 1986. The goal of the organization is "to educate the public, as well as the members of the Corporation, regarding the history of telephony, the value of old telephones and related items, their collectability and preservation; to research telephone history and publish and provide literature thereon; to promote the public exhibition of old telephones and related items; and to promote common courtesies and guidelines for use by the public." Telephone Collectors International is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) organization, to which U.S. tax deductible contributions can be made.