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Graphical element Home > Learning Centre > The EvidenceWeb Français
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Banner: The EvidenceWeb

Educational Resources

Crawling the EvidenceWeb

Visual search by choosing a Theme, Format, Place, Time period or Language

Begin using The EvidenceWeb home page by clicking on a keyword link on the web interface. This will narrow your search by whatever category (Format, Time, Theme or Place) you choose. The thumbnails that you see on the right side of the screen will automatically change to match the options you have selected. You can select one value for each of the main categories. Depending on what you select, the options that you see for the other variables will change, so try different combinations.


Each of the items in The EvidenceWeb database has a title and a description. You can use the search box to search for specific words in those titles and descriptions. You can further limit your search by the original language of the documents in The EvidenceWeb database. This can be done by selecting either English or French in the “Original Language” box that is under the web interface. By default your search will always return pages that match ALL your search terms. The search engine also supports Boolean operators and exact phrase searching.

Boolean Operators: The EvidenceWeb search supports Boolean searching, which uses the words AND, OR, and NOT to make more advanced searches. For example:

  • Boolean AND: A search for King AND Gouzenko will return all items that contain both search terms. If no Boolean operator is used, the search tool inserts an AND between each pair of words. A search for King Gouzenko would return the same result as King AND Gouzenko.

  • Boolean OR: A search for EXAMPLE OR EXAMPLE would return all items that contain either search term.

  • Boolean NOT: A search for EXAMPLE NOT EXAMPLE would return all items that contain the term EXAMPLE, but do not contain the word EXAMPLE.

  • Using brackets to prioritize searching: If you are setting up a complex search that combines more than one boolean operator, the search engine analyzes your search query from left to right. You may wish to use brackets to help clarify how you want your search to be carried out. For example, if you wish to search for all items referencing Philemon Wright or Alonzo Wright, a search for Wright AND Philemon OR Alonzo will find biographies that contain the words Wright and Philemon, and also all biographies that contain the word Alonzo. By adding brackets - Wright AND (Philemon OR Alonzo) you will receive the results you intended.

Phrase Searching: The EvidenceWeb supports searching for exact phrases by using quotation marks. This can be combined with Boolean searching. For example:

  • Exact Phrase Search: A search for "MULTI WORD EXAMPLE" will return all items that contain that exact phrase.

  • Exact Phrase Search with Boolean Operators: Phrases and Boolean operators may be combined to create more complex searches. For example: "EXAMPLE" OR "EXAMPLE" will return all biographies that contain either phrases.

Browsing through the thumbnails:

The thumbnail results will only show nine thumbnails at a time. You can see the next or previous page of thumbnails by clicking on the arrows underneath them.

Viewing an item:

Click on a thumbnail to show a larger version of the image and more information about it.

Viewing a larger version and additional resources

When you are viewing an item, you can click on the button that says "View Larger Size" to show an even larger version. This is also the way to view transcripts, translations, and other pages that may be available.

Some of the largest images are presented in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, which requires special viewing software. If you can't view one of these images, try downloading the latest version of the Adobe Reader and installing it on your computer. The Adobe Reader is available as a free download at: www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

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