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Canadian Imprints: Help

Overview

Illustrative image of records for the CANADIAN IMPRINTS database.

The Canadian Imprints database is a comprehensive collection of bibliographic records of all known books, pamphlets, and single sheets (including printed forms intended to be completed in manuscript), government documents, and serials printed in the Atlantic Provinces, Quebec, and Ontario from 1752 to 1840. The database does not include newspapers, although newspaper prospectuses are included as well as laws printed from the type set for a newspaper such as the Quebec Gazette/Gazette de Québec.

The database was compiled from existing print bibliographies and library catalogues, and records created from primary sources.

Each record contains up to 27 fields, allowing searches by title, year, language, number of pages, and place of publication, as well as by author, gender, illustrator, printer, publisher, and subject.

The database enables researchers to analyse the output of the press by date, place, subject or printer and to identify broad patterns of printing activity in early Canada.


Searching

There are two ways to search the Canadian Imprints database: the Basic or the Advanced Search.

Basic Search

The Basic Search option allows the user to search the Author field or Keywords individually or in combination.

Both the Author and Editor/Compiler/Illustrator/Translator fields will be searched for terms entered in the Author text-entry box. All the following fields will be searched for terms placed in the Keywords text-entry box:

  • Title
  • Related Title
  • Serial Title
  • Distributor
  • Printer/Stereotyper
  • Place of Printing/Publication
  • Publisher
  • Broad Subject
  • Subject/Genre Terms
  • Notes

If terms are entered in both search boxes, records containing both terms will be retrieved. Except for the Author and Editor/Compiler/Illustrator/Translator fields, where truncation may not be used, use the asterisk ( * ) to truncate terms.

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search option facilitates sophisticated queries on specific fields, and allows for the selection of Boolean operators (i.e. AND, OR) between search terms. Enter search terms into the text-entry boxes, then select the appropriate Boolean operator(s) and field(s) from the pull-down boxes.


Record Structure

Canadian Imprints database records are composed of the following fields:

Record ID: Unique identification number for the record.
Author: Person(s) or organization(s) responsible for the creation of the imprint.
Author Gender: Gender of personal authors.
Title: Primary title of the imprint.
Related Title: Variations on the primary title of the imprint.
Serial Title: Title of the work if it is a serial.
Editor/Compiler/Illustrator/Translator: Person(s) responsible for the editing, compilation, illustration, or translation of the imprint.
Distributor: Person(s) or organixation(s) responsible for the distribution of the imprint.
Edition: Edition of the work.
Printer/Stereotyper: Person(s) responsible for the mechanical reproduction of the work, and the address, if known.
Printer - Authorized Heading: Standardized name of printer/stereotyper.
Place of Printing/Publication: Place of printing/publishing of the imprint.
Publisher: Name of the person(s) or organization(s) who issued the work for sale.
Date of Printing/Publication: Year of printing/publication of the imprint.
Frequency of Serial: Publication frequency of the serial.
Number of Pages: Number of pages in the work (including blanks, which are part of the printed sheets).
Illustration: Presence of illustrations in the work.
Size: Dimensions (height & width in cm.) of the work.
Format: Format (folio, quarto, octavo, etc.) of the work.
Serial Volume/Issue Number: First and last volume and issue numbers of the serial.
Language: Language(s) in which the text was printed and published.
Bibliographical Sources: Bibliographical source which cites the imprint.
Location: National Library of Canada location code (Canadian Imprints: Field Descriptions) for the library holding the imprint.
CIHM Number: Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions microfiche number if the item has been filmed.
Broad Subject: Broad subject headings that describe the work.
Subject/Genre Terms: Additional subject and genre terms, personal/corporate names, or place names which are the focus of the work.
Notes: Further information about the imprint.

Record Example

NOTE: If a record does not contain any data in a field, that field will not be displayed with the record.

Record ID: 473
Author: Heart and Hand Fire Company
Title: The rules of the Heart and Hand Fire-Company, formed at Halifax, Nova-Scotia, the 3d of April 1810: revised and ordered to be re-printed at an extra meeting holden on the 16th day of August, 1827
Printer/Stereotyper: J. Munroe (printer / imprimeur)
Printer - Authorized Heading: Munro, J.
Place of Printing/Publication: [Nova Scotia - Halifax]
Publisher: [s.n.]
Date of Printing/Publication: 1827
Number of Pages: 10 p.
Language: English / anglais
CIHM Number: 90766
Broad Subject: Social Life / Moeurs
Subject/Genre Terms: Fire Departments / Brigades de sapeurs-pompiers Regulations / Règlements
Notes: On verso of title page: "Printed by John Munroe". Contains marginalia. / Comprend des notes marginales.

Acknowledgements

The editorial team for the development of this database (2000 - 2008):

Judy Donnelly, Patricia Fleming, Bertrum H. MacDonald, and Andrea Rotundo, Editors
Nica Abush, Jessica Bowslaugh, Sophie Brookover,
Sarah Brouillette, Mary D'Angelo, Eli MacLaren,
Patricia Richl, and Johanna Smith, Research Assistants

The editors wish to thank Sandra Alston (University of Toronto), Elaine Hoag (National Library of Canada), the Bibliothèque nationale du Québec, and the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions for supplying catalogue records of pre-1840 imprints.


Getting Started with the Basic Search

Use the Basic Search to easily search the Canadian Imprints database using author names or keywords.

The Basic Search has two text-entry boxes: one for author names and one for keywords. Searching for authors will search both the Author and the Editor/Compiler/Illustrator/Translator fields. Searching for keywords will search the following fields:

  • Title
  • Related Title
  • Serial Title
  • Distributor
  • Printer/Stereotyper
  • Place of Printing/Publication
  • Publisher
  • Broad Subject
  • Subject/Genre Terms
  • Notes

Search for an Author:

  1. Type the name into the text-entry box labelled "Author."
  2. Enter just one name or if you know the first and last name, enter the last name followed by a comma and the first name or initial such as Wilson, A. or Wilson, Amos.
  3. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Search for a keyword:

  1. Type the keyword into the text-entry box labelled "Keywords."
  2. Enter a single word, or a phrase exactly as you would expect to find it in the database such as Religion or The Catholic School Book.
  3. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Search both the author and keyword fields:

  1. Type the name into the text-entry box labelled "Author."
  2. Type the keyword or phrase into the text-entry box labelled "Keywords."
  3. When both author and keywords are searched, each record in the search results will contain both the name and the keyword.
  4. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Advanced Search

Overview

The Advanced Search permits sophisticated searching of up to seven (7) fields simultaneously.

Enter search words into the text-entry boxes, select field name(s) and Boolean operator(s) from the pull-down lists, then click the "Submit" button to get the results from the database. Use the "Clear" button to remove text from the text-entry boxes and start a new search.


Field Names

Each record in the database consists of up to 27 fields describing the imprint. Visit the Field Descriptions section for a list of the field names and an explanation of what is contained in each field.

The names of the searchable fields are listed in the pull-down lists of the Advanced Search. To search any of these fields, type the search text into one of the text-entry boxes and select the appropriate field name from the pull-down list beside the text-entry box. For example, to find imprints by a particular publisher:

  1. Enter the publisher name, or part of the name, such as "Belcher," into one of the text-entry boxes.
  2. Select "Publisher" from the list of field names beside the text-entry box.
  3. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Boolean Operators

The Advanced Search uses Boolean operators to facilitate searching up to eight (8) fields in different combinations. There are two (2) Boolean operators: AND and OR.

  1. AND
    Combine two or more terms using AND to retrieve records that contain all the specified terms. For example, to find records for imprints written in both English and French:
  1. Enter "English" into the first text-entry box and select "Language" from the list of field names.
  2. Select "AND" from the list of Boolean operators.
  3. Enter "French" into the second text-entry box and select "Language" from the list of field names.
  4. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.
  1. OR
    Combine two or more terms using OR to retrieve records that contain either one or more of the specified terms. For example, to find records for imprints that were written by either Ward or Wilson, or both:
  1. Enter "Ward" into the first text-entry box and select "Author" from the list of field names.
  2. Select "OR" from the list of Boolean operators.
  3. Enter "Wilson" into the second text-entry box and select "Author" from the list of field names.
  4. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Truncation

Truncation allows searching for different forms of a word by using a symbol to represent one or more letters. Truncation works for all fields except the Author field.

The truncation symbol is the asterisk ( * ).

Right truncation: Use the truncation symbol at the end of a word or part of a word, to retrieve words that all begin with the same root, but may end with any combination of letters. For example, biograph* will retrieve: "biography," "biographies," and "biographical".

Internal truncation: Use the truncation symbol in the middle of a word if the letters in the middle are not always the same. For example, harb*r will retrieve: "harbour" and "harbor".


Searching for Broad Subjects

Each record in the database has been assigned a broad subject term to describe the imprint. Refer to the authority list below when using the Basic Search. Enter the appropriate term (e.g., Politics) into the text-entry box labelled "Keywords." Then click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Broad Subjects can also be searched using the Advanced Search. The authority list of terms used for broad subjects are listed in a pull-down list. To find records matching one of the terms, select it from the pull-down list then click the "Search" button. For example, to find records for imprints concerning science:

  1. Select "Science" from the Broad Subject pull-down list.
  2. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

The Advanced Search also allows searching for more than one broad subject by using the Broad Subject pull-down list in combination with one of the text-entry boxes. For example, to find records for imprints concerning science or technology:

  1. Type "science" into one of the text-entry boxes and select "Broad Subject" from the list of field names.
  2. Select "OR" as the Boolean operator.
  3. Select "Technology" from the Broad Subject pull-down list.
  4. Click the "Submit" button to search the database.

Broad Subject authority list

The following is a list of terms used in the Broad Subject field. Enter the text exactly as it appears here for best search results.

Commerce
Economics
Education
Government Printing
Justice
Land and Settlement
Language
Literature and the Arts
Politics
Religion
Science
Social Life
Technology
Transportation


Search Results

Viewing

To view the results of a search, enter the search terms in either the Basic or the Advanced Search then click the "Submit" button. A list of records matching the search terms will be displayed. Each record in the list is called a "hit."

This list of hits shows the Author, Title and Date of Printing/Publication for each record. If the search produces more than 20 hits, the results will be displayed on subsequent pages that can be accessed by clicking Next. Similarly, clicking Previous will return to the previous page of hits. There is an option to display 20, 30, or 50 hits per page.

When viewing the Full Display, click Next Record to see the details for the subsequent record in the list of hits. Similarly, click Previous Record to view the details for the previous record in the list.


Search Tips

Searches are not case sensitive

This means that uppercase and lower case letters are considered the same. A search for Government Printing will produce the same results as a search for government printing or governMENT PriNTINg.

Searching for a phrase

Although no distinction is made between uppercase and lowercase letters, spacing and punctuation are not ignored. Searching for a phrase will find records only if they exactly match the phrase in these ways: the words must be in the same order, punctuation must be the same, and spacing between words and punctuation must be the same.

For example, searching for Nova-Scotia temperance almanack will produce different results than Nova Scotia almanack. If the complete phrase is not known, partial phrases can be used.

Expanding a search

If a search finds very few or no matching records, the search terms need to be expanded. A search can be expanded by using less specific terms. For example, rather than searching for the full title of an imprint, search for just part of the title. This may help to find more matching records.

Narrowing a search

If a search produces too many results, the search needs to be narrowed. This is done by making the search terms more specific. For example, to find imprints by Charles Rufus Fairbanks, using just the name "Fairbanks" to search the Author field may be too broad. Using the more specific name, "Fairbanks, Charles Rufus" or "Fairbanks, C" will make the search more specific and find fewer records.

Unsupported features

This database does not support some search features.

  1. Quotation marks (e.g., "Printed at the Novascotian Office") should not be used for phrase searching. The quotation marks are not necessary; the search engine will always look for an exact phrase match when two (2) or more words are entered in a single text-entry box.
  2. No proximity operators are supported for searching this database.
  3. No Search History is available when searching this database.