Search Tips

To search the site, click on the word “Search” in the upper right corner of the screen. This will open the search page. You can access the search page from anywhere on the site, unless you are looking at a document in Detail View. Using the search box in the Detail View will search within that one document only; for more on searching within Detail View, see below.

The simplest way to use the search function is to enter one or more search terms into the search box, with spaces between words. Notice that as you type, the site will prompt you by displaying, below the search box, terms that include the letters you are typing. The prompt display words that occur within the documents on the site. You can select any of the prompt words, or just finish typing your search terms.

The search results display on the right side of the screen. The search tool will return documents that include all of the words searched for (just as if you had included the Boolean operator “AND” between your search terms). By default, the search tool sorts results by relevance, meaning that documents with a higher frequency of the search terms, and with terms found closer together, will be at the top of the search results. By using the “Sort by” pull-down menu on the upper right side of the screen, you can choose to sort results alphabetically or chronologically instead.

Note that any search automatically includes expanded and variant forms of the search terms. For example, searching for blessing will also return instances of bless, blesses, blessed, and blessings. Note that searches are not case sensitive, so searching blessing will also return instances of Blessing, and vice versa.

You can use simple Boolean operators for more precise searching:
Kirtland AND templeIncluding AND (in all caps) between search terms will return documents that include all the terms.
Kirtland OR templeIncluding OR (in all caps) between search terms will return documents that include one or more of the terms.
temple NOT KirtlandIncluding NOT before a word will return documents that do not include that word. For instance, the search temple NOT Kirtland will return documents that include the word temple but not the word Kirtland.
H?r?mIncluding a question mark in a word inserts a single-character wildcard. For example, searching for h?r?m returns instances of Hyrum, Hiram, Hyram, and Hirum.
testimon*Including an asterisk in a word inserts an unlimited number of wildcard characters. For example, searching for testimon* returns instances of testimony, testimoney, and testimonies.
“record book”Enclosing search terms in quotation marks will return instances of the exact phrase.

You can refine any search by using “Narrow Results” in the left column of the search page. The categories for narrowing include Series, Genre, People, Places, Topics, and Dates. Narrowing by series or genre excludes documents in series or genres other than the one you have selected. Narrowing by people, places, topics, and dates excludes documents that do not include the person, place, topic, or date range you have selected. (Note that not all of the documents have yet been tagged for topics, so some documents may not be returned when narrowing results by topic.)

You can continue to narrow by additional categories if you wish. For example, if you have narrowed your search to include only the genre “Papers,” you could narrow further by including only those documents that include Oliver Cowdery and Independence, Missouri. Notice that at the top left corner of the screen, below the Search box, the terms you originally searched on and any further restrictions you have used to narrow your search are displayed under “Currently Selected.” You can unselect any restriction by clicking on it under “Currently Selected.” To begin a fresh search, click “Clear Results” to the right of “Currently Selected.”

When you click on a search result, you are taken to the top page of the document. If the document is from the Papers genre, you are taken to the Summary View. Search within the document for specific phrases by clicking “Detail View” in the upper right, then using the document-specific search box in the upper left corner of your screen. This search operates as phrase searching, so if you search for doctrine covenants you will not get instances of Doctrine and Covenants as a result. (Note that if you include quotation marks when performing a search in the Detail View, the search engine will look for instances where the quotation mark character itself appears in the document.) The only Boolean operators that work in the document-specific search are wildcards (such as h?r?m and testimon*). The document-specific search also uses the stemming function, so that searching for blessing returns blesses, blessed, and so forth.

Once you enter your search query and click “Search Document,” you will be taken to the page where the search term first appears and the term will be highlighted. You can cycle through the search results by clicking “Next” and Previous” below the search bar. At present, the search tool includes footnote text in searches, which are not visible on the page. If you are taken to a page and no text is highlighted, the search term is probably in a footnote on that page.