William Hay Railroad Engineering Collection

Search Tips

Getting Started

To retrieve results from the database:
  • Enter at least one term in one of the search boxes; and
  • Press the Search button

  • Search Results

    The search will return results from four different search targets:
  • The custom Railroad Engineering database made up of the initial 13,000 items from the TTCI and AAR collections;
  • The University of Illinois Library Online Catalog comprised of over 8 million items;
  • The IDEALS Illinois repository containing links to all the Enineering Experiment Station publications;
  • Google book results.
  • The initial returned search results will contain the search term entered and the number of matches from each of the target resources, displayed as the results come back. An example returned display is below:

      Keyword(s): railway ties

      Search Results

      Grainger Railroad Database   224 results

      UIUC Library Online Catalog      25 results

      IDEALS @ UIUC                     32 results

      Google Books                         2810 results

    Clicking on one of the blue hyperlinks will take you directly to the specific results display for the appropriate target resource.

    Search Functionality

    This database uses keyword searching, not exact-phrase matching.
  • For example, a search on the term "wide" will return results with the word "widening" and "Widell".
  • Further, a search on the terms "wide gap" will find records where the two terms are not necessarily adjacent.
  • Please avoid using punctuation when entering search terms, except in the case of call number searching.
    Truncation of search terms can be accomplished by using a shortened form of the term. The search term "rail" will match on "railroad", "railway", and "railroads", etc.
    Do not enter "AND" or "OR" between search terms. Rather, choose the button of the search method you prefer.
  • To find results that include any of the terms you enter,
  • choose "CAN contain ANY of the terms".
  • To find results that include all of the terms you enter,
  • choose "CAN contain ALL of the terms".

    Notes About Database Fields

  • Keywords
  • We'll automatically search all the keywords you enter. You don't need to join them with "and".
  • Author
  • For best results use the author's last name only. Most authors are entered in the database with last name and first initial.
  • Title
  • Title terms can be searched as terms that aren't necessarily adjacent or as an exact phrases.
    Choose the checkbox "Exact Phrase" for that function.
  • Subject
  • Subject term searches return results that may be more specific or precise than keyword searches. However, there may be a need to know specialized vocabulary to perform most accurate searches.
  • Report Number
  • Enter the number with appropriate punctuation.