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African American Biographical Database: Search Full Text

A guide to all aspects of ProQuest's African American Biographical Database including content, searching, and viewing results.

What is Search Full Text?

The Full Text Search searches the full text found in the database, but does not search any information in the Profiles. If you are searching for a biography of an individual, it is advisable to use the Profile Search first, and then if you cannot find the person you are looking for, to proceed to a Full Text Search. You can use the Full Text Search option to find mentions of the person in biographies and textual paragraphs other than the subject's own biography. The Full Text Search option can also be used to find points in the text where specific subjects or topics are mentioned.

Use a Full Text Search when you:

  • can't find a profile for an individual. By searching on the name in the All Keyword field, you may find details about the person through a biography of a relative, friend, or associate.
  • want to find all mentions of a name, even in biographical sketches about other subjects. You can enter a name first name first (i.e., Morris Brown) in the All Keyword field.
  • want to find coverage of a geographical region, political movement, school district, area of missionary work, church, or other group or area.
  • want to find relationships between people. For example, you can enter two names connected by a Boolean AND, and find instances where both people are discussed on the same page, perhaps in relation to one another.

Search Full Text Page

Search Full Text Tips

How do I get there?

You can access the Full Text Search page by clicking the Full Text Search link on the Search Options Page, accessible from the Search icon on the Home Page.

If you are currently using Profile Search, you can move to Full Text Search by clicking the Search Full Text icon on the Toolbar.

If you have already executed a Full Text Search, you can return to the Search page by clicking the Refine Search icon on the Toolbar. Your original search terms will be preserved in the Search form.

Where can I go from there?

From the Profile Search page, you can use the Toolbar to open the Search Tips page, consult general information about the database, clear the Search form, move to the Profile Search or return to the Home Page.

What can I do there?

Full Text Search allows you to search across the full text of the Biographical Sources included in the database. You can perform a Full Text Search using a combination of the All Keyword and Source fields.

To conduct a search, either type the required search terms (individual words or phrases) into the All Keyword search box or select them from the browse index. You can also limit your full text search to a certain book, by selecting it from the Source field. A customize search results option enables you to specify the way in which results are retrieved.

In the Search page, you can combine search terms using Boolean and proximity searching and search for variations on search terms using truncation.

Select the number of results per page you wish to retrieve (maximum 99; default is 50), then specify whether the records retrieved will be displayed in the form of Subsets (sections of consecutive records) or in the form of a Sampling (records selected at regular intervals from those retrieved) by selecting the corresponding option.  If you choose Subsets, specify the entry number at which you would like the first subset to start.

When you have finished making your selections, click Search. The Summary of Matches page will appear displaying the results of your search.