Introduction to Heritage Quest
by Jessamyn West, Outreach Librarian
Introduction - Who Am I?
- Who is this class is for?
- What do we hope to accomplish today?
Introduction - Who Are You?
- What is everyone's skill level?
- What do you hope to learn?
- Do you have Internet access at home? [not required but helpful]
- Do you have a library card? [required]
Introduction - What is Heritage Quest?
"HeritageQuest Online is a collection of over 25,000 family and local histories, and content. Founded in 1983, HeritageQuest has been in business for over 20 years and brings a wealth of genealogy data to ProQuest who purchased HeritageQuest in August 2001.
HeritageQuest Online is designed specifically for patrons in public libraries who are either just beginning their family research or who after years of work are still uncovering their past. With over 25,000 books, the entire U.S. Federal Census, and other expanding collections, HeritageQuest Online gives any library the chance to tap in to one of the largest collections of genealogy material in the country."
Introduction - A quick word about PDF files
- PDF stands for "Portable Document Format"
- Most of the documents you can retrieve from HeritageQuest are PDFs.
- To read a PDF your computer will need a special document reader.
- This program is free from the Adobe web site but must be installed on your computer.
Starting Out - How do I get to Heritage Quest?
- Go to the Rutland Free Library web site at www.rutlandfree.org
- Click on the link at the top that says "databases"
- Heritage Quest is the top link on the page. You must get to it from this page.
Now let's see what we find there.....
Starting Out - What does Heritage Quest do?
The intro page to Heritage Quest has three sections. Which is right for you? What do they do?
- Search Census - in short, searchable census records from 1790-1930 more or less
- Search Books - 7922 family histories, 12035 local histories, 258 primary sources
- Search PERSI - the PERiodical Source Index. Free to search, costs $ to access items
Now let's go into more detail....
Search Census - What it Contains
- census images from: 1790 - 1930, every decade
- name indexes for: 1790 - 1820 1860, 1870, 1890 - 1930 [searchable by name]
Surname, Given Name, Census Year, State
All the above, plus County *
Age Sex, Race, Birthplace*
[only for 1850 forward and NOT 1890]
* indicates browseable search field
Search Census - What you can search for
some locations, for example
VERMONT INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL
VERMONT SOLDIERS HOME
VERMONT STATE HOSPITAL FOR INS
VERMONT STATE HOSPITAL FOR THE
VERMONT STATE PRISON
VERMONT STATE SCHOOL FOR FEEBL
Search Books - What it contains
* indicates browseable search field, roughly 1000 titles
- 7922 family histories, 12035 local histories, 258 primary sources
- People & Places - two different ways to search to the same data
- Publications - you can browse by title OR search by Keyword, Author*, Title, Publisher*, City of Publication*, Date of Publication, Subject*, or Language.
Search PERSI - What is that?
"The PERiodical Source Index is a comprehensive subject index covering more than 6,500 genealogy and local history periodicals written in English and French"
- What is a subject citation index?
- What else can you get?
- How do I retrieve an item from PERSI that I want?
Advanced Searching - Tips
- EXACT - Placing 'exact' before a search term will match that term exactly. For example, 'exact book' will find matches on 'book' only and not 'books', 'bookkeeping', etc.
- NEAR - Used with two terms, 'near' will find all matches of the two terms within 10 words of each other. To specify how many words can separate the two terms, include a number preceeded by a colon after the 'near'. For example, 'women near:4 history' will find all occurrences of 'women' that are within four words of 'history'.
- AND - Using 'and' retrieves results that include two or more terms that you have entered in the search field. For example, 'women and history' retrieves all results with 'women' and 'history' in them
- AND NOT - Using 'and not' indicates that you want to retrieve results that include your first entered term but not the second. For example, 'women and not politics' will retrieve results that include 'women' but not 'politics'. Use this sparingly!
- OR - 'Or' will retrieve results that include either your first entered search term or your second.
Advanced Searching - More Tips
- "" - When you enclose a phrase in double quotes, your search results will match the phrase exactly. For example, the phrase "women and history" will find matches with the exact phrase 'women and history' in them; if you type 'women and history' in the search field, your results will include all matches with 'women' and 'history' in them.
- ( ) - When you enclose a logical group of terms and operators in parentheses, HeritageQuest Online will assign a higher precedence to that grouping of terms. For example, 'smith NEAR john AND boston' evaluates the 'smith NEAR john' part first, but 'smith NEAR (john AND boston)' evaluates 'john AND boston' first.
- * - Adding a * to the end of a root word will match all words that begin with that set of letters. For example, a search on 'book*' will bring back results that include 'book', 'books', bookmarks', 'bookkeeping', etc.
- ? - When you add a ? to the end of a root word, it will match all words that have a single character following the root word. For example, a search on 'book?' will bring back results that include 'book' and 'books'.
- All search terms, unless modified by EXACT or parentheses, will be searched by stemming (i.e. 'book' will match 'book', 'books', 'booked', 'booker', etc.).
Thank you for coming! Any questions?