- How do I search for materials?
- What should I know about phrasing my searches?
- How can I filter my search results?
- How do I navigate this website?
- How do I request materials?
- Does this website include all the materials in the archives?
- Glossary of terms and symbols
- What if I have questions? Where should I go for help
How do I search for materials?
- Begin a basic search by entering your search terms in the search bar. You may limit the search by searchable fields, record type, and date.
- The searchable fields are:
- Keyword: Searches the entire text of the finding aid.
- Title: Searches titles of the materials described, including records, series, and files within collections. If you know the precise title of the material you’re looking for, searching by title can be very helpful.
- Creator: Searches names of the persons, families, and organizations who created the collections.
- Subject: Searches by subject headings assigned to materials by archivists, e.g. "Ambulances".
- Identifier: Searches by identifier, which is a unique number by which materials are tracked and requested.
- Record types allow you to customize the type of records you want a search to return:
- Limit to collections will only return records for collections, rather than people, subjects, series, and files.
- Limit to digital materials will only return records, folders or items that contain digital materials.
- You may select a date range to limit the search results chronologically. Searching by date is approximate, and results may fall outside the date range you enter.
- You may construct a more complex search by selecting the + icon and adding additional search parameters.
What should I know about phrasing my searches?
- Searches are not case sensitive.
- You may search for exact phrases by including quotation marks (e.g. “yellow fever”)
- By default, searches with three or fewer search terms return results containing all of the search terms. Searches with four or more search terms return results containing most of the search terms. You may add OR and NOT to change this behavior (e.g. aids OR cancer or pandemic NOT fever).
- You may add a tilde (~) to search for search terms within a specified number of words of one another (e.g. “business doctor”~5 will return results where the term "business" occurs within 5 words of the term doctor).
- Wildcard symbols ? and * help return a greater number of relevant results by searching for variant spellings and forms of search terms simultaneously.
- ? replaces a single letter in a search term (e.g. searching colo?r will returned both color and colour).
- * replaces any number of letters at the end of a search term (e.g. searching educat* will return educate, educated, education, educational, and educator).
- ? and * may not be used as the first character of a word.
- To use a wildcard in combination with another search term (e.g. wom?n physician), use the + icon to create another row and enter each search term in a separate row.
How can I filter my search results?
- Once your results have been returned, you can use the filter pane on the right side of the page to further limit and customize search results.
- You may use the filter pane to filter by record type, subject, and name.
- You may also use the search bar at the top of the filter pane to create additional searches within the search results.
How do I request materials?
To request materials onsite, please see the Reference Librarian to submit the collection and box number(s) via NLM's LocatorPlus catalog. You must sign into your account in order to request materials. For more information about LocatorPlus, please consult LocatorPlus Catalog Help.
Does this website include all the materials in the archives?
This website does not include all the materials held in the P&P, HAV, or AMMP collecting areas. Some collections are unprocessed, and there is therefore no online finding aid available. Brief records for most AMMP unprocessed collections are available here.
See the AMMP, P&P, and HAV websites for more information, or search LocatorPlus.
Glossary of terms and symbols
Archives are materials created or received by a person or organization in the conduct of their affairs and preserved because of the enduring value of the information they contain or as evidence of the functions and responsibilities of their creator.
Collections are groups of materials assembled by a person, family, organization, or repository. They can be divided hierarchically into series, groupings, and files.
Digital records are born-digital and digitized materials that are available online.
Finding aids allow users to discover, understand, and access the materials. Finding aids describe the creation, arrangement, content, and context of collections. Most finding aids on this website contain descriptions on collection-level (also known as fonds-level). These descriptions give you the most general overview of the collection or archive. You can find this in the Collection Overview. Click Expand all to see the whole collection overview. Some finding aids on this website will also contain a hierarchical structure with item-level descriptions. Click Finding Aid View to scroll through the items.
Name records are the people, families, and organizations that create collections. On this website, users can view name records to see all of the materials created by a person, family, or organization.
Subject records are topics, places, and genres used to describe the context and content of the materials. On this website, users can view a subject record to see all of the collections relating to that topic, place, or genre.
Use the Citation button to generate a formatted citation for the material you are viewing. Citations can be generated at all levels of a finding aid, including at the folder or item level. Consult the citation style for your academic discipline.
Use the Print button to access a fully formatted PDF of a finding aid.
What if I have questions? Where should I go for help?
If you have questions about a finding aid, please use the NLM Support Center link in the lower right corner of the finding aid. Please consult the help page to see if your has already been answered before asking a question.
If you have a detailed topical or policy question, please contact the relevant program manager.