The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

Search Tips for the Merton Finding Aids

1. The search box:

Type search term in the white box above.  You can type in a whole word, a phrase, or any part of a word. Generally, the shorter your search query, the more results you will receive.

2. Boolean (AND, OR, NOT) and phrase searches with quotes:

For example the following combinations will call up different results:
Holy Grail (returns results with either "holy" or "grail" or both, anywhere in results);
Holy AND Grail (returns only results with both "holy" and "grail" not necessary adjacent);
Holy NOT Grail (returns results containing "holy" but excluding results with "grail");
"Holy Grail" (using quotes gets only results with the intact phrase "holy grail").

3. Partial word searches:

Benedict can denote a complete word, but this also searches any combination of these letters, even in longer words containing them. Searching for Benedict will bring back the following: Benedict, Benedictine, Benedictines, Pre-Benedictine, Benediction, etc.

4. Choosing search section:

Search results are divided into four catagories of records: correspondence (letters to or from Merton), manuscripts (draft copies of essays, books, poems, etc.), media (audio and video recordings by or about Merton), and miscellaneous (mostly related Merton collections separate from other manuscript titles). The tabs pictured above will appear on your search results page. Simple click on a category to jump to the section of records that interests you. The example below will give an example from the "manuscripts" category searching for Benedict as above.

5. Search results:


Some results of this search are obvious: "Benedict, Saint, Abbot of Monte Cassino".  As mentioned before, there are instances in the beginning of words, "Benedictine monasticism", and in the middle of words, like "Pre-Benedictine".  Where is the "Benedict" in "Approach to creativity", "Letter of St. Anselm", or Place of Obedience in Monastic Renewal"? Note that the full description of a record is searched and not just its title; therefore, since "Approach to Creativity" was published in the American Benedictine Review, it will be returned in the search results. As in the examples under #2 above, you would search Benedict NOT Benedictine, for example, if you wanted results about St. Benedict but not the Benedictine Order.

Note:  When you click the website link of each title, you perform a page search for your search term by holding the control (Ctrl) key, or Mac function key, with the letter "F" (Cntl+F) or using the "Find on this Page" command from the Edit toolbar in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari. If your term is not on this first page, it may be on one of the sequential web pages for a particular item.