Ricorso's Electronic Search Engines

Database or Dataset?
Ricorso is a searchable website, NOT a database. That is to say, it does not consist of ‘fields' holding pre-determined kinds of information like a Library Catalogue (e.g., Author, Title, Publisher, Date of Publication, Place of Publication ... &c.)

Instead, it is made up of thousands of pages catalogued under headings answering to the sections of the website (AZ-Dataset, Bibliography, &c.) and their various sub-sections, alphabetical or otherwise.

I firmly believe that the flexibility provided by attaching an electronic search-engine to a a website containing as large a corpus of materials as this one does makes it a uniquely effective resource for Irish studies.

The cache-files used by the search engines to locate any given item in the site are automatically recompiled by the server at short intervals. This means that you can locate any material added up to that time by using the search engine on the front page of each section.

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Searching the Datasets
To run a search, enter the term or terms you want in the box provided in the left-hand frame, then click the Search Icon (a little magnifying-glass) and wait for the results. Ricorso will display the name of each file in whichthe term or terms you seek are to be found. Click the green hypertext address to reach the given file(s).

Note that the item sought may not be included in the first lines of a given file and will not therefore appear on the results page. To reach the item, you must open the file or files in question and search them vertically, using the Browser's ‘Find' command.

Effective searches can be conducted using single terms (e.g., ‘siege') or phrases (e.g., ‘Act of Union'). In some cases, however, it is necessary to canvas a variety of phrases which might answer to the item sought, e.g., 'emigrated to America', or 'emigrated to the USA' and even 'emig. US'.)

Familiarity with the standard syntax of Ricorso pages will help you to establishing the best terms to use. Feedback on the effectiveness of the search engines is always welcome!

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