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About Search

The Search system on the MFF website can search not only essays and other text-based information--it also speedily searches the text found in scanned page images. This advanced functionality represents a significant technical undertaking.

Copyright Issues
Since the books on this site are copyrighted, only short excerpts are shown. Viewing of book pages via either browsing or searching is not permitted.

Click-Through for Paid Members Only
Site visitors and those with free memberships may use the Search service and receive excerpts from all materials. However, you must be a paid member to "click through" from the Search Results page to view the essay or document (a few "free" clickthroughs are allowed as a courtesy). This is one way we hope to recoup the investment of developing this powerful search service.

Become a member or upgrade to a paid membership

Search Tips

Where You Can Search From

You can search from several places on the site:

  • Banner - The search box present at the top of every page can be used to easily search all indexed materials.
  • Search Sidebar - Archive pages and certain other pages feature a search sidebar.
  • Advanced Search - The Advanced Search page is accessible via the banner at any time.
  • RIF Search - The RIF Search page is accessible via the banner or from the Advanced Search page. It allows specialized searching of Record Identification Form pages.


Search Features

Search Box. All search pages feature a search box into which you can type a name, word, or phrase. Capitalization is ignored.

Scoped Searches. Some Search Sidebars allow you to select which types of materials (books, essays, documents, etc.) you want to search. When browsing documents, you may even restrict searches to only the set of documents you are browsing.

Excerpts. The Search Results page shows you "hits" ordered by relevance. In some cases, clicking on a results entry expands that to all the pages in that document which "hit".

Clickthrough. If you are a paid member, you can click through Search Results straight through to the essay or document in the results. See the sidebar on the right side of this page for more information. Clickthrough is not allowed for books due to copyright restrictions.


Search Tips

1. Enter multiple words to find pages with any of those words on them (e.g., Roselli Rosselli).

2. Put multiple words inside double-quotes to search for exact phrase (e.g., "single bullet theory"). Note that without quotes, a search like (single bullet theory) will find instances of any of the words individually.

3. Separate words or quoted phrases by AND to find only pages featuring both words or phrases (e.g., Khrushchev AND Castro). Make sure to use upper-case AND.

4. Searches are not case-sensitive (e.g., KENNEDY is the same as kennedy).

5. Use OR to search for either of two phrases (e.g., "John Kennedy" OR "Jack Kennedy"). Note that there is no need to put OR between single words, since that is the default behavior.

6. The Advanced Search page features advanced controls for setting the scope of a given search to portions of the MFF Archive.

7. The underlying search engine is called Lucene, a project of the Apache Software Foundation. Advanced users may want to peruse the query parser syntax page for Lucene.


Special Tips for RIF Search

The RIF Search feature is specialized to search only the data present on Record Identification Forms. These pages are attached as headers to documents released under the 1992 JFK Records Act.

1. You may select which fields of the RIF forms are matched against the search term you enter. By default, the Title, Subjects, and Comments fields are searched.

2. Type in entire words to match, not portions of words.

3. Click the Record Number field and enter an exact record number (XXX-XXXXX-XXXXX) to look up a particular record by number.

4. Searches are not case sensitive (e.g., CUBA is the same as cuba).

5. Results may be sorted by title, by date, or by record number.

6. Separate words or quoted phrases by AND to find only pages featuring both words or phrases (e.g., Khrushchev AND Castro). Make sure to use upper-case AND.

7. Use OR to search for either of two phrases (e.g., "John Kennedy" OR "Jack Kennedy"). Note that there is no need to put OR between single words, since that is the default behavior.

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