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Searching in the Portal

You can search for resources relating to Thomas Jefferson and his world from any computer, using the Thomas Jefferson Portal. You can do this in several different ways:

You may also:


Quick Search

This type of search is not very precise, but it can work well if you have a very unusual or specific topic. Use quotes to search for phrases. Simply type your keywords in the search box on the Library's home page.

Examples: rivanna; "james barbour"; "barbary pirates"


 Simple Search

Use the Simple Search to target your results a little more.

  1. Go to, and click on Simple Search.
  2. In the next screen, you may customize your search and specify a little more clearly what you are searching for. For example:
    • jefferson and architecture (to find books on jefferson and architecture)
    • architecture or buildings (to find books about architecture or buildings)
    • jefferson not thomas (to find books about jeffersons other than thomas)
  3. Finding a Specific Title
     If you are looking for a specific title, try typing in a phrase from the title, like undaunted courage, and clicking Title in the Search By box.
    Finding a Specific Author
     If you are looking for a specific author, type in the author's last name and click on Author Browse under Search By.
    Finding Books on a Specific Topic
     If you are looking for materials on a certain topic, try combining your keywords using the words and, or, not, and selecting the Boolean option under Search By. Some examples:


  4. In the Simple Search screen, you may also limit your search to a specific location; for example, if you only want to find items located in the Guides Library, under Limit By Location, scroll down and click on Guides Library.
  5. Click Search.

For more help with the Simple Search, go to the Simple Search Help Page.


Advanced Search

Use the Advanced Search when you have several different concepts to combine in a search.

  1. Go to, and click on Advanced Search.
  2. In the first box labeled Search For, type in keyword(s) or a phrase you'd like to search for.
  3. Click on the arrow in the drop-down box to the right. If you've entered:
    • one or more keywords that are all important, like slaves life Monticello, select the default all of these
    • several keywords that have similar meanings, like clocks watches timepieces, select any of these
    • an exact phrase you'd like to find, as in peter jefferson, select as a phrase
  4. In the Search In box on the far right, select what kind of information you are searching for: Author Name, Title, Subject, Publisher, etc. The default is Keyword Anywhere, which is the least specific kind of search.
  5. If you have another concept or term to combine with the first one, enter it in the next row, repeating steps 2-4. Also select how you'd like to combine your different terms by selecting AND, OR, or NOT between rows. You may do this up to three times.
  6. When you are done entering search terms, click Search.

For more help with the Advanced Search, go to the Advanced Search Help Page.

Limiting Your Search

You may limit your search to certain formats, specific date ranges, a specific location, and more using the Limit feature. Here's how:

  1. Before you've entered your search terms: from either the Simple Search or Advanced Search screens, click on Set Limits in the lower right-hand corner of the search area.
  2. You may limit by:
    • Location (Jefferson Library, Guides Library, Archaeology, etc.)
    • Item Type (book, unpublished manuscript, periodical, etc.)
    • Medium (electronic resource, microform, video, etc.)
    • Date (before or after a specific year, or between certain years)
    • Language of the material
    • Place of publication
  3. When you are done selecting the limits for your search, click Set Limits.
  4. You will be brought back to the main search screen, where you may now enter your search terms.

For more help with limiting your search, go to the Limits Help Page.

Saving, Emailing, or Printing Search Results

You may save, email, or print any or all of the records you've found in your search.

  1. If you are only interested in some of the results, click the check box next to those titles. You may do this on more than one page by clicking Retain Selected at the bottom of one page before moving on to the next one.
  2. At the bottom of the page of your results (any page if there is more than one), choose which records you'd like to save/email/print: all of the records on the current page, only the records you've selected on the current page, or, all the records you've selected on all of the pages.
  3. Select the record format you want the information to be in: Full Record, Brief Record, or MARC.
  4. To print the records or save them to your hard drive, click the Print or Save button; this will take you to a screen where the plain text format of the records is displayed. Click on File > Save As in your browser to save the records to your hard drive, or use your browser's Print button to print the records.
  5. If you want to email the selected records to yourself or someone else, type in the email address in the box and click Email Now.


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