The user can search for exact phrases by placing the phrase inside quotation marks. Entering the two words Jewish and prisoners in the search box will return all collections where these two words appear in the information fields relating to each collection. But entering the exact phrase “Jewish prisoners” within quotation marks in the search box will return only collections where the exact phrase “Jewish prisoners” appears.
Search Word Variations
A very useful feature of the search engine is the ability to search by only the first part of a search word or term. This is achieved by entering as much of the word or term as is desired (for example, the root that is common to multiple forms of the word) followed by an asterisk (*). This is particularly helpful when the exact form of a word or term of interest may vary from collection to collection or according to whether the term is being used as a noun, adjective, verb, etc. For example, searching the term “execut*” in English will return results for execute, executes, executed, execution, executions, executive, etc, i.e., all words in the index that begin with “execut.” The same feature functions if searches are conducted in German. Searching the term “Arbeit*” will return results for Arbeit, Arbeiter, Arbeitslager, arbeitet, etc. The feature also works for numbers (e.g., 195* will search all years and numbers that begin with 195).
Search by “Sheet Name”
To assist researchers interested in following the flow of documentation into the ITS archive, the inventory includes a field labeled “Sheet Name,” which indicates the span of years during which the collection was registered at ITS. Typing one of the “Sheet Name” labels into the search box will deliver a list of all the collections registered during the respective period of years. These “Sheet Name” labels can also be used to narrow a search, i.e., entering “Dachau” and one of the “Sheet Name” labels will deliver a list of all “Dachau” results from the respective registration period. There are seven “Sheet Name” labels. To obtain the results just described, they must be entered in German precisely as shown below:
- Vor_1955 (before 1955)
- 5_55-9_74 (between May 1955 and September 1974)
- 9_74-4_87 (between September 1974 and April 1987)
- 5_87-10_94 (between May 1987 and October 1994)
- Inventur_ab_95 (between 1995 and 1999)
- Inventarnummer 6.2000 (after June 2000)
- Sachdokumente (a small section of miscellaneous historical collections)
The final “Sheet Name” label, “Sachdokumente,” is a small but interesting component of the ITS collection (roughly 2 percent of the whole) that contains a broad variety of documentation, ranging from original documents to translations of published works into German for use by the ITS staff. The specific registration periods associated with the “Sheet Name” labels do not have historical significance. They simply represent the segments into which the original chronological list of over 21,000 registered collections was subdivided for tracking purposes.
Search by Source
It is also possible to search the inventory by the source of collections, that is, by the name of the institution or organization that deposited the documents at ITS or from which documents were copied. Source names in the on-line inventory have been left in the form in which they appear in the original ITS list of collections. Most are in German, but some (e.g., “US Army”) are in the language of the source institution. A list of selected frequently appearing and/or unusual sources of ITS collections, or sources with German names for which English translations may be useful to some users, is available here.
Advanced Search Tool
The advanced search tool provides the possibility for further refinement of searches. It allows the user, for instance, to request results for a word or term in four key information fields: Description, Source, ITS File Location, and Accession Date, and any combination of these. In addition, it enables the user to eliminate terms from the search results. Narrowing search results by adding search terms works in the advanced search just as it does in the simple search.