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This website contains many types of texts, including:
  • scholarly articles, biographies etc. written in modern Canadian English;
  • semi-diplomatic transcriptions of 19th-century texts that reproduce the inconsistent spellings typical of printed and manuscript texts from this period;
  • site informational pages; and
  • technical project documentation.
Although you can search the whole site (the default behaviour if you do not choose any search filters), it will often be more efficient to select one or more of the document types or statuses in the checkbox lists on the search page to search only a subset of the collection. There are many search filters that can help you narrow down the number of results.
This is a stemming search engine, so generally speaking, if you search for a word such as love, the search engine will apply stemming and return related forms such as loving and loves. For finer control, there are two wild-card characters that can be used in searches: asterisk (*) and question mark (?). An asterisk represents zero or more characters; a question mark represents a single character. A wild-card search allows you to truncate endings, so that a search for usur* will return results that include usury, usurie, and usurer. The wild card can also be used within a word to return all possible variations in that position. For example, a search for w*ld would return wild, world, and withheld, and so on. Combining internal and terminal wild cards would return more variants. For example, w?ld* would yield results that include wild, wildest, and wilderness.
You can also use plus and minus signs to specify that a term must or must not be in the results. For example, searching for +love +like -hate will find documents that contain both love and like but not hate.
If you are searching for a proper name, use appropriate capitalization, and also quotation marks. For example, to search for someone called Spearing, use "Spearing". This ensures that stemming does not take place, meaning that only instances of the exact name will be found, not spear, speared, and so on.
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