Researching Military History on the Web

Robert Rowen, NYMAS

September 22, 2000 CUNY Graduate Center

Tips, Tricks and Guidelines


Searching words and phrases:

Google is currently the simplest, fastest engine.

Intelliseek, formerly Profusion, searches multiple search engines.

Check the web occasionally for new and better ones.


Searching Images
(including images of documents & maps):


The National Archives is probably the biggest and best.

The Library of Congress’ American Memory is a vast, selected source.

Searching DefenseLINK Photos will also take you to all the branches.

Typical Search sequence:

  1. Use Google or Intelliseek – enter a word or phrase

2. Browse results – RIGHT click on a selection

3. Click on "Open in New Window"

4. Within new page: press the CTRL-F combo

5. Enter a word to search it within the page

6. On the taskbar, click on Google to search another site in the results


A few military "anchor" sites:

US Center of Military History

Military History Institute Digital Library

Web Sources for Military History

Last but not least: The New York Military Affairs Symposium

Important Search Features

Boolean Operators

Combine terms or concepts with AND, OR, NOT


Use + and - to include/exclude


Search word stems or multiple word forms

politic* retrieves politic, politics, politician, political, etc.


Specify that words appear next to each other. Typically double quotes around the phrase is used:
EX: "mad cow disease"


Use NEAR between terms or concepts or put them in square brackets to make sure that words occur within a specified distance of each other. The distance varies by search engine.

N.B. The Internet Search Engine Features Chart goes over each search engine's search commands and gives examples

A few more things about search engines

· each one is different.

· use different robots or spiders to index the web

· may index more web pages than others

· can employ many more search features

· no search engine indexes all of the web

· depth of indexing varies (first 50 words or full text?)

· type of information indexed (web pages, usenet newsgroups, images, software)

From the New Mexico State University Library’s Using the Internet for Academic Research & Teaching

Favorite Key Combinations

Ctrl+N opens extra browser screens

(The Window key)˙ + D or M puts all open applications on the taskbar and returns you to the desktop.

Ctrl-F searches within a page

Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C Ctrl+V are the base operations that select all, copy and paste in a new place.

Don’t use this sheet on paper – just go to and click from there.







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