CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA
STAMPS AND POSTAL HISTORY
CSA Search Engine Tutorial
24 MAR 2015 -- The CSA Search Engine is capable of
searching my entire CSA Postal History, CSA Stamps, and CSA Currency
databases which at this time encompass over 1400 documents and files.
The search is performed on the text of my written descriptions of the
items. But in order for the Search Engine to be most useful, it
requires that the search strings be formed according to specific
formats. I have prepared this short explanation page to assist you in
getting the most use that you can from the search engine. You may want
to print this out for future reference.
In "Advanced Search" are four choices 1) ALL of these words, 2) EXACT PHRASE, 3) ANY of these words, 4) NONE of these words.
can be used in this search
engine. All the items within the quotes are interpreted as an EXACT
PHRASE. This can be very useful in forming detailed limited search
strings using the ALL of these words option. If using Quotation Marks, DO NOT USE the EXACT PHRASE option.
- One Word Searches -- This
is the easiest and most popular way to use the search engine. Just type
in your one word name or description and see what happens. Some of the
more popular one word searches are --
- adversity -- Lists all the Adversity Covers currently in the database.
- wallpaper -- Lists all the Wallpaper Covers currently in the database.
- turned -- Lists all the Turned Covers currently in the database.
- patriotic -- Lists all the Patriotic related items currently in the database.
- pow -- Lists all the Prisoner-of-War related items currently in the database.
- military -- Lists all the covers currently in the database with Military Addresses.
- handstamp -- Lists all the Handstamp PAID covers currently in the database.
- soldiers -- Lists all the Soldiers Due covers currently in the database.
- stephens -- Lists all the items
currently in the database related to the "Stephens" family name
particularly covers from the Alexander H. Stephens Correspondence.
- pickett -- Lists all the items currently in the database related to Gen Pickett and Pickett's Charge.
- provisional -- Lists all the provisional covers and off-cover stamps. To limit search to just covers or to just off-cover stamps, use the Find ALL Words option and provisional cover or provisional stamp
- letter -- Lists all the covers which have the original letters with them. Using "letters" with the "s" will produce no results.
- "overpaid drop letter" -- a single phrase enclosed in quotes is treated as a one word search.
- Date Search -- To do a simple search of all items both stamps and covers related to a specific date, use the following format --
- 13 OCT or 13 OCT 1863 with the EXACT PHRASE
option or use Quotation Marks. Be sure and try the search both with and without the year as
many CSA postmarks do not contain a yeardate. All my date descriptions
of the postmarks are written with the day first followed by the three
letter month abbreviation. Therefore doing a search using 10/13/1863
will produce no results.
- City or Town Search -- The
easiest way to do a city or town search is simply to enter the one word
name. This will bring up all items associated with that city or town in
either the postmark or the address.
- richmond -- Lists all items referring to Richmond in either the postmark or the address.
- new orleans or "new orleans" -- For cities or towns with more than one word in the name, use the EXACT PHRASE option or use Quotation Marks just for the city or town name.
- Military Unit Search --
I wrote all my Military Unit Designations in the descriptions using
abbreviations. Your best chance of success in searching for a Military
Unit related cover is to use the following formats but some trial and
error may be in order --
- 20th Tex with the EXACT PHRASE option or "20th Tex" with Quotation Marks.
- "2nd Va Cav" -- can use inf for infantry regiment and cav
for cavalry unit. But best chance for a successful search is to use the
number designation (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 24th, etc) and a state abbreviation
only (ala, ark, fla, ga or geo, ky, la, miss, nc, sc, ten, tex, va). If
the state abbreviation produces no results, then try typing out the
name of the state in full.
- Stamp Search --
One of the big advantages to a Search Engine is that detailed searches
can be constructed so that you will only look at specific items instead
of browsing the entire database. I will use a stamp search to
illustrate how this can be done with the CSA Search Engine. I have
found that search strings work best when used with Quotation Marks and
the "ALL of these words" option in Advanced Search.
- "CSA #7" -- All my CSA stamp descriptions begin like this. Entering "CSA 7" with the Quotes and the Find ALL words option will list all the covers related to the CSA #7 stamp as well as all the off-cover CSA #7 stamps in the database. Do not use the "#" symbol in the search string as this can cause the search engine to misinterpret the search.
- "CSA 7" cover -- will list only the covers with the CSA #7 stamp.
- "CSA 7" stamp -- will list only the off-cover CSA #7 stamps.
- "CSA 7" unused stamp -- will list only the off-cover unused CSA #7 stamps.
- "CSA 7" unused pair stamp -- will list only the off-cover unused CSA #7 stamps in pairs.
- "CSA 7" unused "block of 4" stamp -- will list only the off-cover unused CSA #7 stamps in a block of 4.
- "CSA 7" used stamp -- will list only the off-cover used CSA #7 stamps.
- "CSA 7" used Richmond stamp -- will list only the off-cover used CSA #7 stamps with a Richmond postmark.
- "CSA 7" Richmond cover -- will list only Richmond related covers with CSA #7 stamps.
- Using the above format, you can construct all sorts of stamp related searches.
- Here are some search strings related to specific details.
- Suppose you wanted to search for a CSA #12 Keatinge and Ball Stamp on cover. Your search string would look like this: "CSA 12" KB cover using the All of these words
option in Advanced search. If you wanted to narrow it to Richmond
related covers only, then the search string would look like this: "CSA 12" KB richmond cover using the All of these words option in Advanced Search.
- For Archer & Daly printings of the CSA #11 and CSA #12 stamps, use AD in the search string.
- For Keatinge and Ball printings of the CSA #11 and CSA #12 stamps, use KB in the search string.
- Suppose you want to search for a CSA #2 Hoyer & Ludwig Print on Cover. Your search string would look like this: "CSA 2" "H&L" cover using the All of these words option in Advanced Search. For a Paterson Print, the search string would look like this: "CSA 2" paterson cover using the All of these words option in Advanced Search. When searching for a CSA #2 print, use "H&L"
with quotes for Hoyer and Ludwig but write out Paterson completely. The
"&" symbol is an idiosyncrasy of the search engine which can have
different meanings if the quotes are not used.
- To search only the CSA Postal History Database and not the Stamp Database, add cover to the end of your search string and make sure that you use the ALL of these words option in Advanced Search.
- To search only the CSA Stamps Database and not the Postal History Database, add stamp to the end of your search string and make sure that you use the ALL of these words option in Advanced Search.
- You can play around with the Search Engine to see which search strings work best for you.
- If you have any questions
or if you require a highly detailed search string to locate specific
items and are unsure of how to construct such a search string because
of the idiosyncrasies of the database descriptions, just send me an
E-mail with your request. I will be happy to construct a workable
search string for you which you can save and use whenever you want to.
John L. Kimbrough MD
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