Vassar College Digital Library




Full Text Searching

Many items in Vassar College Libraries' digital collections are handwritten items. Over time, we have been transcribing these pages in order to provide full-text searching of diaries, letters, and other materials. However, we have not completed this process. For more information about this process and its timelines, please contact us.

Please note that the accuracy of full text search results may vary. Full text searching is enabled through the OCR (optical character recognition) process. The results of this process depend on the characteristics of the original documents (e.g., the font and paper quality), and may not render all characters correctly. We strive for as much accuracy as possible and hope that OCR serves as one of many discovery tools on this site.


Boolean operators - using AND, OR, and NOT to refine your search

The operator AND narrows your search by instructing the search engine to search only for records containing all the terms in your search. In basic searching, you do not have to type in the word AND; by default all terms entered into the search box become Boolean AND searches. However, you can adjust your search by doing an OR search (broadens the search to include records containing any or all of the terms) or a NOT search (narrows your search by excluding unwanted terms). You do not have to enter the Boolean operators in capitals. To search for an exact phrase put quotation marks around your search terms.

In advanced searching, the Boolean operators are available for your use in the drop-down menus.


Advanced Search (A work in progress)

Perform an advanced search search by selecting "Advanced Search" below the search bar every page. 

To search in a given field or collection, select the relevant item in the drop-down menu. 



When you have found the items you wish to read, use the menu button (three horizontal lines) at the top of the viewer to display the transcribed text in a slide-out window (when available).

You can also click the menu button to view more information about the item, including description, copyright status, and other metadata.


Citing Sources

All items in Vassar's Digital Library contain permanent, "bookmarkable" URLs that you can use to cite your sources.

The Modern Language Association's (MLA) recommendations in the MLA handbook for writers of research papers is:

Title of Web Resource. Date of Web Publication or Latest Update. Names of Sponsoring Institutions and Organizations. Web. Date of Web Access By User.  URL.

  • Note: There are many additional citation styles available.  For more information about citing sources and locating style guides, visit Vassar College Library's Citing Sources research guide at