Using Special Characters

Avoid using all special characters unless they are listed below as helpful with American Memory searches.

Characters influencing search results

  1. Accents and other Diacritics: Type in unaccented letters even when the word usually contains an accent. The search engine is programmed to find both accented and unaccented forms of your term. Attempting to type in characters with accents causes unpredictable search results. For example, frappé is indexed simply as frappe, and mañana as manana.

  2. Use an asterisk (*) at the end of a search term to find all records containing that word and other words that begin with that English language stem. For example, tele* would return hits about telephones and telegraphs. However, *phone and tele*ph would not produce the desired results.

  3. Avoid using the following characters, unless you are familiar with how the search engine uses them.
    # @ ( )

Characters NOT influencing search results
> < - , ; : . ? ! / [ ] "

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