It is all in the search.
August 21, 2009
The search features of the new C-SPAN Archives Video Library are very powerful. Explaining how to use the search functions will be the subject of this and other blog posts.
All the database terms in the Video Library have been indexed and ranked in a Google-like manner. This means that you can enter a simple phrase or several phrases and it will find the best match. Don’t hesitate to enter multiple phrases as the initial search string.
For example, if I wanted to find Senator Obama’s speech in Germany during the campaign, I could enter Obama Campaign Germany in the search box. With each new word I enter, the popup box shows how many results there are. There are 2,200 references to Obama. 800 references to Obama Campaign and, finally, just four references to Senator Obama in Germany. The program I want is the first in the list. I could just click on that program and go directly to it or I could hit return and the complete lists are displayed below.
An alternative way to find this program is to add one search term at a time. First, type in Obama and hit return. Then, on the left nav bar there is an option to add another term. Enter campaign here and press add. Finally, add another term, type Germany, and press add again.
One advantage of this method is that you can choose exactly the field you want to search. For example, uncheck Germany and that removes it from the search. Now select add another search term and select field, location, and put in Germany. This will zero in on the single program since it is specifically looking for the one program where Obama spoke in Germany during the the campaign.
There is also an advanced search where this same search can be specifically done in three steps choosing Obama as a person, campaign as a keyword, and Germany as location.
In future postings we will highlight other features of the powerful search features of the new C-SPAN Video Library.
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