Yale University Library

Past Masters on CD-ROM


Past Masters contains a large database of classic texts in philosophy, literature and the sciences. Its search engine allows the user to search a large body of text for specific terms or people of interest, making this CD-ROM a valuable tool for anyone doing research in philosophy.

Using the Database

Start the program -- the opening screen will appear. This is a table of contents which contains links (triangles pointing downward v.) Every folio (paragraph) will also contain one folio marker (a triangle pointing rightward >.) This folio marker marks the beginning of a folio.

Using your arrow keys, place the cursor on top of any link. Press ENTER. A new window will open containing information associated with a link. You may use the arrow keys or PgUp and PgDn keys to move within a window. If you want to switch between the windows press the + key. Press ESC to close the current window.

Press Spacebar to begin a search. Three windows open:

Type your search word into a query window and press Enter. Note: If youíre within a particular text the code appears in the query window, do not delete it and start typing the search word right after the code.

Retrieve your hits
After you press Enter a new window will open containing all paragraphs in the database which contain the searched word. The number on the top right should read 1/x where x=the number of folios containing the searched word. Again, you can move about in this window using the arrow keys or PgDn and PgUp.

Press Ctrl-F, the focus or concordance key. Now only a few words of context appear surrounding the searched word. Open the Options menu by pressing Alt-O, high-light References, then press Enter. The references lines are inserted directly into the text. If you press Ctrl-F again the display will return to normal.

Select Print from the File Menu or press (Ctrl + Print Scrn). Select the scope that matches the information you need. Select all other options desired. Make sure that the path ìsave settings toî defaults to C:\. Press <Enter> to print the information specified.

Select Save Asîfrom the File menu or press (Ctrl + S). Type a filename and indicate the scope that matches your selection. Select all other options desired. Press <Enter> to save the information specified.

For More Information:
Consult the user manual. There is also online help available in the web version.