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Help

  1. Key Features
  2. Site Navigation
  3. Resource Discovery
  4. Online Reference Books
  5. Additional Help

3. Resource Discovery

Overview

The Resource Discovery help is divided into five sections: an overview; a section for each of the three search paths provided, and; a section that describes how search results are presented and organized.

The Canadian Military History Gateway is a quality-controlled, searchable database of military history resources that are available in digital form through the Web sites of the Gateway's partner organizations. A military history 'resource' can take many forms, including documents, images, films, videos and sound recordings.

For each resource, the Gateway database contains a resource description, or record. A record is composed of separate metadata fields containing data that describe various attributes of the resource, e.g. title, description, keywords, historical date, author, classification, etc.

There are three search paths you can take to discover military history resources of interest on the Gateway:

  • History Browser - a directory of military history resources organized by topic
  • Timeline - provides access to resources by century, decade and year
  • Search - search for resources using your specific words or phrases.

When using the Gateway to search for military history resources, it is only the database of resource descriptions that is being searched. The content of a resource appearing on a Gateway partner site - for example, an article on the war hero Billy Bishop - is not indexed for searching.

History Browser

The History Browser's 'guided navigation' capability enables you to browse a directory of military history resources by topic. You are able to click and drill down to a single topic, starting with a broad topic and navigating a 'topic tree' to increasingly more specific areas of interest.

When using the History Browser on the Gateway Flash site, the Flash Timeline is automatically minimized. The two features - History Browser and Flash Timeline - cannot be used in conjunction with each other.

As you click on a topic, military history resources classified to the topic are displayed as a list of search results. Clicking on an resource link in the result list will open a new browser window displaying the selected resource on a Gateway partner Web site.

Features and Functions

Topics Military history resources available through the Gateway have been classified to one or more of the following Topics:

Subject, Date, Learning Resource, Organization, Resource Type.
Topic tree Within each main topic there is up to four levels of sub-topics Topic tree - a 'tree of topics'.
Searching Topics can be combined to further filter an area of interest, and can be used in conjunction with a keyword search to return even more precise results.
Breadcrumb search trail As search criteria are selected - whether a topic or keywords - a 'breadcrumb trail' is displayed:
Clicking on a hyperlink in the breadcrumb will return you to that selection.
Enter Access the Browser by clicking on the 'History Browser' link from the Left Navigation Bar.
Exit Click the CMHG Home breadcrumb to exit the History Browser and return to the Gateway homepage.
Reload browser homepage To select a new starting point for browsing, or to return to the Browser homepage, click on the History Browser title bar on the left panel.

Examples

The following examples show how to use the History Browser to help you find what you're looking for.

Example - Basic Topic Selection

  • From the History Browser homepage click on a desired topic, for example, Wars, Battles and Conflicts.
  • Selecting a topic will load a page displaying the History Browser Navigation Bar and Search Results pane For Wars, Battles and Conflicts, a total of 2 956 results were found. This result list can be further refined by selecting from the Subject topic tree displayed on the Navigation Bar.

Selecting the topic Early History to 1603 shrinks the result to just 28 resources

  • The result list can be narrowed even further by selecting one of the additional 4 sub-topics displayed under Early History to 1603. For example, for The First Warriors, 11 results were found.
  • The hyperlinks displayed in the breadcrumb trail can be used to reverse your search path. Clicking on the top crumb in the trail, e.g. Subject, will clear your topic selections.

Example - Combining Topics

  • Combining topics is another way you can narrow your results. For example, you may only be looking for films or videos associated with the Wars, Battles and Conflicts subject area.
  • To do this, expand the Resource Type topic tree. Under Resource Type is a list of sub-topics - or types. Beside each type is a number indicating how many resources there are for that type. The example shows that there are 54 Film and Video resources within the 2956 Wars, Battles and Conflicts results

Clicking on the Film and Video link will display the result list of 54 resources.

Multiple topics can be combined to display increasingly relevant information resources. However, as the Navigation Bar will only ever display valid search paths across and within topics, you avoid having to traverse a topic tree for which no resources exist.

Example - Combining Topic Browsing with Keyword Searching

  • Within the History Browser, topic browsing can be combined with keyword searching to find more specific resources of interest. In the example below, the Canadian War Museum is selected from within the Organization topic tree.
  • Note that the search option drop-down menu is set to Any Words. This means that any War Museum resource descriptions with either the term 'billy' or the term 'bishop' would be returned in the result list.

See the Search help section for additional guidance on text searches.

Timeline

Timeline Help below is organized into two sections: one describes the interactive, graphical timeline appearing on the Flash version of the Gateway; the other provides guidance on using the text-based timeline on the HTML Web site.

The Timeline feature provides access to Gateway military history resources based on historical dates. You are able to click and drill down to a specific year, starting with a century, and navigating through decades and years to increasingly more specific areas of interest. The Gateway Timeline covers the period from 1000 AD to 2000 AD.

As you click on a date, military history resources classified to that time period are displayed as a list of search results. Clicking on a resource link in the result list will open a new browser window displaying the selected resource on a Gateway partner Web site.

HTML Timeline

Features and Functions

Enter the Timeline -
Homepage 'Go' Button
On the Gateway homepage, click the Timeline 'Go' button to access the HTML Timeline with the default time period - the 1900's - displayed.
Timeline access - Homepage 'Select a Century' menu Click on a century to select that time period
Timeline access Access the Timeline from anywhere on the Gateway site.
Select a Century menu Click on a century to select that time period
Select a Decade menu Click on a decade to view resources for that time period.
Select a Year menu Click on a year to view resources for that date.
View resources by Subject Click on an icon to view resources for the Subject.

Examples

The following examples show how to use the text-based Timeline to help you find what you're looking for.

Example - Timeline Exploration

  • From the Gateway homepage click on a desired time period from the Select a Century menu, for example, 1900. This loads the text-based Timeline.
  • Two menus are displayed: Select a Century and Select a Decade. Clicking on a decade, 1940-49 for example, will result in two actions
  • A new menu - Select a Year / Subject by Year - is loaded, and a list of available resources for the selected decade, 1940-49, is displayed in the Search Results pane. Under individual years, icons are displayed indicating available resources grouped by Subject.
  • Clicking on a Subject icon will load the Search Results pane displaying a list of military history resources classified to that subject area and time period. Selecting Strategy and Tactics for the year 1940 returned 34 (now 44) results.
  • The result list can be further narrowed by choosing from any sub-topics within the selected Subject. For example, within Strategy and Tactics, there are resources that have been classified to sub-topics such as:: Airborne (12), Amphibious (2), Anti-submarine (7), Armoured (1), Chemical / Biological (1), Electronic (2), Fortifications (5), Information Warfare (1), Peacekeeping (1), Special Operations (3)

    Selecting the sub-topic Airborne , filters the list from 44 to 12 results

  • The hyperlinks displayed in the breadcrumb trail can be used to reverse your search path. Clicking on the top crumb in the trail, e.g. Subject or Date, will clear your selections.

Example - Combining Timeline Exploration with Keyword Searching

  • Timeline exploration can be combined with keyword search to find more specific resources of interest. In the example below, the decade 1810-1819 is selected from the Select a Decade menu. The result list displays 292 related resources
  • The word battle is then entered in the Search text box and the Go button clicked. The combined search narrows the result list from 292 to 259 resources

See the Search help section for additional guidance on text searches.

Search

Features and Functions

Search text box Enter one or more keywords in the text box.
Boolean search option Select the type of boolean search.
Search - All Words All the words entered in the Search text box must be present in a resource record for it to be returned. This is the default setting for keyword searches.
Search - Any Words Any word entered in the Search text box is present in a resource record for it to be returned.
Search - This Phrase For a record to be returned, words typed in the search text box are present in a resource record in the exact order and format in which they were entered.
Search filter - Subject Filter search by the selected topic.
Search filter - Type Filter search by the selected topic.
Search filter - Organization Filter search by the selected topic.
Reset search options Click to clear the text box and reset all search options to their default settings.
Reset search options
Start search Click the Go button to start your search.
Start search
Note : If you click Go without changing the default search option settings or entering any keywords, all the resource records in the Gateway database will be returned, sorted by organization name.

Examples

The following examples show how to use the Search feature to help you find what you're looking for.

Example - Keyword Search- All Words

  • Type in the desired word or phrase, using alphanumeric characters, in the search text box and click on the GO button.
  • For example, a search for the words billy bishopfinds 9 (now 7) results. As the boolean search option was set to All Words, only resource descriptions with both the word billy and the word bishop are returned.

Example - Keyword Search - Any Words

  • In the following example, an All Words search for the terms music and songs finds just 53 results. However, the boolean search option can be changed to search for a broader set of resources.
  • Click on the boolean search drop-down menu, select the option Any Words, and click Go. A search for music and songs now returns a list of 862 records. This list will contain any resource descriptions containing the word music or the word songs.

Example - Keyword Search - This Phrase

  • Click on the boolean drop-down menu and select the option This Phrase. Enter the words sheet music in the text box and click Go. A total of 6 resources matching the phrase was returned. A search using the This Phrase option will only return those records that exactly match the text string you have entered

Example - Combining Keyword Searches and Topic Filters

  • Gateway queries may be enhanced by combining keyword searches with topic filters. The Left Navigation Bar provides three drop-down topic menus - Subject, Type and Organization. Clicking on a menu displays a list of available sub-topics. A search may utilize one or more topic filters.
  • A keyword search for music, without using any topic filters, is likely to find a large number of music related military history resources. However, if your are specifically interested in finding musical recordings, the result can be narrowed using a topic filter. Click on the Type topic menu, select Sound from the drop-down list, and click the Go button. The search returned a result list of 2 records, with the search criteria displayed as breadcrumb links above the list.

Example - Combining Keyword Searches and the Subject Topic Filter

  • The Subject topic filter provides additional options for narrowing a search result list. In the following example, a keyword search for the Europe is combined with a sub-topic from the Subject drop-down list - Strategy and Tactics. A total of 43 resources are found. Note that a new set of hyperlinked subtopics, within Strategy and Tactics, are displayed at the top of the search pane.
  • Within Strategy and Tactics topic, there are resources that have been classified to six sub-topics: Airborne, Amphibious, Anti-Submarine, Armoured, Chemical/Biological, Fortifications, Nuclear and Special Operations. By clicking on Special Operations, the result list of 43 is further reduced to 9 records.

Search Results

The results of a search are displayed within the Main Content Panel of a Gateway page. Successful queries are returned as a list of search results. Clicking on a resource link in the result list will open a new browser window displaying the selected resource on a Gateway partner Web site. Unsuccessful queries will return a message stating '0 Results' found.

Features and Functions

Display option -
Result list records
Select from the drop-down menu to display resource records with or without descriptions.
Display option -
Result list records per page
Select from the drop-down menu to select the number of resource records to display per page.
Display option -
Go button
Click the Go button to set the display options to your selections.
External hyperlinks policy Click on link to view a summary of the Gateway policy on external hyperlinks.
Breadcrumb search trail Use the hyperlinks displayed in the breadcrumb trail to reverse your search path. Click on the top crumb in the trail, e.g. Subject or Search, to remove search criteria from the result list.
Breadcrumb search trail
Number of results found The number of results returned by a search is displayed below the breadcrumb trail.
Multiple page navigation Click on hyperlinked page numbers to navigate a multi-page result list. Click on Next to display the next group of up to 5 pages.
Result list record -
Title
Click on the record title to view the resource in a new browser window.
Depending on the length, the complete title may not be shown. Move your mouse over title to view the full text of the title.
Result list record -
Select checkbox
Click the checkbox to flag a record for saving to a My Gateway folder.
Result list record -
Type icon
Icon identifying the type of resource being linked to, e.g. image.
Result list record - Type icon
Icon key:
Result list record - Icon description
Result list record -
Description
Each record has a brief description of the resource.
Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader Indicates which records link directly to documents in PDF format. If the Adobe Acrobat Reader software is required to view a PDF file, click on the link to download the software from the Adobe Web site.
Result list record -
Resource host site
Identifies the organization hosting the military history resource.
Result list record -
Go to Site button
Click on the link to view the resource within a new browser window.

Examples

The following examples show how to work with a set of search results.

Example - Change Display Options

  • You can specify how the search result list is structured in order to display a greater number of records on each page. This can be helpful when selecting records to save to a personal My Gateway folder.
  • In the following example, the display options are set to load the full descriptions for each resource and show 10 records per page. To browse through all 170 results would require navigating through 17 pages.
  • To view the same set of results in the least number of pages you would change the display option from Full Descriptions to Titles Only, change the number of results per page from 10 to 50, and then click Go. As shown below, the 170 results are now viewable on just 4 pages.

Example - Save selections to My Gateway

  • The My Gateway feature is a helpful research tool that allows search results of interest to be selectively saved to personal folders for later reuse. Up to 50 records can be saved to a folder, and each user account can store up to 10 folders. (More on My Gateway...)
  • To save resources, browse a result list and click on the check box of each record to be saved to a folder. You must save your selections one page at a time, so for multi-page result lists, always save your selections before moving on to another page. When you have selected all the desired resources from the page displayed, click on the Save Selections to My Gateway button.
  • If you have not already done so, you will be prompted to log into your My Gateway account. If you don't have one, you can also create an account at this time. After logging in, your result list selections can be saved to an existing or new folder.
  • After saving your selections you will be returned to the search result list. To view your folder, click the My Gateway button on the Global Menu Bar.