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Images Canada: home page
Graphical element reading PICTURING CANADIAN CULTURE
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Section title: Search Help Search for images: Display
    
Advanced Search
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What is Images Canada?

Images Canada is a search service providing access to the online image collections of participating Canadian cultural institutions. Images Canada enables cross-collection searching, and provides a direct link from any search result back to the relevant full-size image and record on the originator's website.

Diagram showing Images Canada site architecture

Searching for images

Simple keyword searching is available at the top of most pages on the Images Canada site. Type in your keyword(s) to search all of the image descriptions in the database and find related images.

"Advanced Search" allows you to refine your search by searching within specific fields of the image descriptions in the database. In an advanced search, you may also combine search terms using the operators "and," "or" and "not."

Diagram illustrating the effective range of the Boolean operator AND

Use the "and" operator to the image descriptions that contain all your keywords.

Example:

Example of a search screen, illustrating the use of the Boolean operator AND on this website

Searching for "cottage" and "Ontario" on the advanced search page will retrieve all images with "cottage" in the image title field and "Ontario" in the coverage field. The "and" operator typically decreases the number of search results.


Diagram illustrating the effective range of the Boolean operator OR

Use the "or" operator to find image descriptions containing any of your keywords.

Example:

Example of a search screen, illustrating the use of the Boolean operator OR on this website

Searching for "camp" or "tent" on the advanced search page will retrieve all images with "camp" in the image title field or "tent" in the image title field. The "or" operator typically increases the number of search results.


Diagram illustrating the effective range of the Boolean operator NOT

Use the "not" operator to find image descriptions containing your first search term, but not your second search term.

Example:

Example of a search screen, illustrating the use of the Boolean operator NOT on this website

Searching for "tent" not "camp" on the advanced search page will retrieve all images with "tent" in the image title field, and exclude those which also have "camp" in the image title field. The "not" operator is useful for excluding search results which are related but not relevant to you. In the above example, search results for images of army base camps are excluded.

Images Canada searchable fields

The following fields are searchable in Images Canada. To search within a specific field of an image record, use the "Advanced Search" feature. The simple keyword search available on most pages on the site searches the entire image record.

Field

Field contents

Coverage

Geographic area, typically Canadian province or geographic region

Creator

The person or institution responsible for creating the image

Date

Date of the image or image event, in the format YYYY (some date fields include more specific information and may be searched using YYYYMM or YYYYMMDD)

Description

Description of the image

Identifier

Source institution catalogue number for the image

Publisher

The institution which published the image

Source

The source institution

Subject

Subject indexing

Title

The image caption or title

Other tips

Try the Images Canada Trails page for search ideas. We also have links to several Photo Essays, which provide a narrative on a particular theme enhanced with images from partner collections. Check out the Educational Resources page for teaching strategies and classroom activities that use the Images Canada website.

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