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Using the Catalog: Advanced

Watch this video to learn the advanced functionality of the NYFA Library catalog.

Welcome to this New York Film Academy library tutorial video. In this video, we will be covering the advanced search functionality of the catalog for the library. If you'd like information on how to access the catalog or just basic information on how to use it, you can refer to our other videos in this series.

So for this one, you can see here I'm already logged in to the catalog, and I'm gonna go over some of the more advanced features here. So, first thing I want to highlight for you folks is just to show you the, I guess the amount of information that is actually contained within the records in our catalog. So, I'm going to use Jurassic Park here from the Recently Added Titles list as an example. Now, I click on it here and you'll see that it basically gives me some basic information on the film. But if I follow through and click through to the full record, you'll see there's quite a bit more information here. Now, our catalog does actually make things a little bit easier on you the user in terms of sort of, cross-referencability. So, let's say you know Jurassic Park, you love Jurassic Park, but you'd like to see other films in our collection by maybe, like Michael Crichton, or someone else associated with the film. For instance, I can scroll down here in the record and see that we have a number of names listed with this film, people who were contributors in some way, either, you know, actors, or the director, the DP, any number of roles, major roles in this film. So, you know, let's say for instance you love that film, you know Jurassic Park, but you'd like to see, maybe, other films that involve Kathleen Kennedy, for instance. So, instead of taking this term and searching it separately, you can just click directly through with this hyperlink. It makes it nice and easy, it actually searches it directly. Now, what we're doing here, instead of typing in the name Kathleen Kennedy into the search bar, we're searching with what's called a Controlled Vocabulary. We're using a very specific way of formatting her name to be as accurate as possible and as thorough as possible. Or, I guess more specific as possible. There could be any number of people in the world named Kathleen Kennedy, but in this case we're searching with her name as it appears in like, a more authoritative version, so it's Kennedy comma Kathleen, date of birth 1954, dash, there's no date of death, she's still alive, but it's giving us a certain level of specificity when we click her name. And you'll see when we use that, we come back with 34 results in which her name appears. So, that's our first kind of bit of advanced functionality in the catalog. You can kind of piggyback off of records to find other things that you might be interested in or are looking for.

So, outside of that, we do have also a certain level of advanced search capability within the catalog. So, you may, if you've looked at our basics video, you'll know that you can use the search bar across the top of the homepage here to search, you know, in a few different basic ways, right, you can search with a title, you can search with an author, subject, various other, kind of, ways to search. But if you click on the Advanced tab over here on the left hand side, you'll see we now have the option to do what's called Boolean Searching. You can basically search with multiple terms in combination to add further specificity to your search. So, for instance, I'm gonna go ahead and use the title True Grit as an example. So, this is a film that was, you know, made, ya know, a couple different times, right? We have the original version here c. 1969, and then we also have the remake, the Coen Brothers remake from 2011. So, that's pretty good, right. We have two titles specifically. Now, to demonstrate how this can work to basically add specificity, lets say, for instance, that we've seen the movie True Grit by the Coen Brothers and we know that it has Jeff Bridges. So, you know, we could just search for Jeff Bridges here, but lets say, you know, we wanted to, you know use his name as a potential search term. What I've done is I've gone ahead and highlighted it, and just copied it to my clipboard. And when I come back to the advanced search page, what I can do is a few different things. So I can put his name directly into the search here and I can search that in a couple different ways. Now, this dropdown here is what we're talking about when we refer to Boolean searching. It's this "Not", "And", or "Or" functionality. So basically, it's ways of searching with multiple terms in different combinations, essentially. So, if you search with an "And" search, you're going to be searching the title True Grit and the specific phrase, you know, Bridges, Jeff and the search will combine those two terms. So, if we search that, we get the Jeff Bridges version of True Grit. Right, that particular item in the catalog contains both of those phrases, hence the "And". If we search with the "Or", normally "Or" will expand our search results. So in this case, we're searching all records that include the phrase, the title True Grit "Or" the phrase Jeff Bridges. And so, you see we've now expanded out to 38 results, basically including all of the films in our collection that involve Jeff Bridges in the cataloging record in some way. So you know, you get Hell or High Water, you get Crazy Heart, probably more than you ever needed, but could be useful, you know? If you are looking for other films that star Jeff Bridges, for instance. Now the other option, of course, is the "Not" functionality. So, if we're searching the title True Grit but "Not" Jeff Bridges, then of course we just come back with the original 1969 version of True Grit because this is the title True Grit without Jeff Bridges.

So, it's a quick little demonstration of what that looks like. This kind of searching is possible pretty much in all of our databases as well. If you'd like further information on how that works, you can always check out the videos for JSTOR or EBSCO for further demonstrations of what Boolean searching looks like and what it can do to help you refine your results while using our databases. It's a very useful tool to sift through what will often be many, many results. So, hopefully you find this video useful, and we'll see you next time.

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