The Performing Arts in Colonial American Newspapers, 1690-1783
The Performing Arts comprehensively covers performing arts in the period 1690-1783.
It includes all references to music, poetry (lyrics), dance, and theater found
in American newspapers, from the earliest extant copy (1690) through the end
of the Revolutionary War (1783), including those in the French and German
languages. It has its own search system and organisation and takes a bit of
getting used to if you are already familiar with other retrieval software
such as WordCruncher.
The Performing Arts offers several ‘files’, each of which offers a different
type of data drawn from Colonial American Newspapers, 1690-1783. The one most
frequently used is the INDEX file, which is also the most comprehensive file
with 235,676 records in alphabetical order. Other files include the BIBLIO
file, which offers bibliographical citations for the articles logged on the
CD, both alphabetically and chronologically. Then there is the FIRST LINE
FILE, which indexes the first lines of poems and lyrics, and the WOODCUTS
file, which offers access to 37 graphic images. The second most frequently
used file after INDEX is the CITATION file, which is the only file offering
full text articles, 54,411 in total.
There is a searching guide summary printed in the insert in the CD, as well
as help offered within the program itself. For a simple search, you first
open a file, then you click on the flashlight symbol before typing your search
term in the QUERY box, finally clicking SEARCH.
One of the original files is the USERGUID and this will furnish more detail
if it is required.
- Do not allow the citation file to get confused with the biblio file in
your mind, since the former offers full text articles, the latter citations
- It is vital to understand that the different files are linked together
via a color coded system of cross referencing. Thus, with search results
in the index file, for instance, they will carry colors red, green and blue.
Red highlights your search hit; green indicates that a full text is available
in citation. Blue indicates that the citation can be accessed in Biblio.
- A frequently asked question is how to arrange results in index in such
a way that they are isolated from the main index, listed in an orderly fashion
so they can be printed out. To do this, you need to operate a different
search from that outlined above. Having clicked the flashlight, you must
first change the current field from All Fields to First Word. As before,
write your search term in the query box. The Word Wheel already shows you
how many hits there are. But then, instead of clicking search, double click
the term in the Word Wheel to transfer it across to the query box with a
‘First Word’ extension. Now click search, and your hits will be collated
separately from the main index in a form that can be printed out if need
- Another general point: no hand appears to tell you that a term is clickable,
even when you open the original file. Double clicking on this or on one
of the colored highlights will, however, open it up if you allow a moment
for the CD to be read.
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© 2007 Yale University Library
This file last modified 07/16/01
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