GENERAL SEARCH TIPS
The online catalog of the Saltonstall family papers contains approximately 3,000 records of documents of the Saltonstall family and related families from 1603 through 1880. Each of the records in this catalog contains information on the author, recipient, and date of an individual document, as well as where that document may have been printed and its former location (the collection was originally arranged in volumes and folios that have since been disbound). Some records also contain item descriptions, select subjects, or links to related records.
The catalog does not search the text of the original document, only the catalog information about that item.
The Basic Search page allows you to search for records by names, dates, or a combination of both. For more search options, select the Advanced Search tab. You may use one or more of the search criteria (described in more detail below) in any combination. In both basic and advanced modes the search will yield only those results that are common to all of your search criteria.
Many of the search options require search criteria to be selected from a controlled list. When typing in the search boxes, pause in typing to allow the list to be generated. Please note that, when entering names, a comma is required between the last name and first name in order to generate matches on the controlled list.
To search for names, choose the appropriate button to begin your search. The option for as author/recipient will find all documents listing the name indicated as either the author or recipient of the document; selecting as author only or as recipient only allows you to further limit your results. Once you have made that selection, begin typing the last name of the person you are searching into the search box. A list of matching names will be generated as you type. You must select a name from the list that appears by clicking on the desired name. If the name you are searching does not appear in the list, s/he does not appear as an author or recipient in the Saltonstall catalog. If you are interested in a general group of people, for example all documents written by individuals with the same last name, use the keyword search option on the advanced search screen.
There are many instances of multiple people with the same name in the catalog. When the information is known, individuals are listed in the catalog with their life dates to help differentiate between people with the same name.
You may continue selecting as author/recipient, as author only, or as recipient only to add as many names as you like to refine your search. Listing multiple names will not yield all documents written by all of those individuals, only those documents that are common to all of the names selected. For example, a search for both Nathaniel Saltonstall and Leverett Saltonstall as authors will find only the documents that were authored jointly by the two men, not all letters written by either man. You can further refine your search using the additional options on the advanced search screen.
You may also search with wildcards by beginning the word or phrase you are searching with an asterisk, such as *whig. This will yield all names that contain the word whig, for example Salem Whig Convention and Whigs of the 9th Congressional District. This search is most helpful when searching for organizations or political entities, rather than when searching for individuals by name.
To search for all documents written to or from Dr. Nathaniel Saltonstall: Click as author/recipient to open a search box. Begin typing Saltonstall, Nathaniel and select Saltonstall, Nathaniel (1746-1815). View the search form for this example
To search for documents from Dr. Nathaniel Saltonstall to his son Leverett Saltonstall: Click as author only to open a search box. Begin typing Saltonstall into the search box and select Saltonstall, Nathaniel (1746-1815) from the dropdown list. Click as recipient only to add a second search box. Begin typing Saltonstall and select Saltonstall, Leverett (1783-1845) from the list. View the search form for this example
To search for documents by date, enter the range of dates in the from and to boxes. To search for a document with a single date, use the copy function to enter the date in both the from and to boxes. To find documents written in a single year, leave the month and day blank and use the copy function to enter the year in both the from and to boxes. To limit results to documents written after a particular date, enter the date in the from box only; for documents written before a particular date, enter the date in the to box only.
Results will appear in chronological order with documents that include your range of dates appearing first on the list.
To find all documents written between January 1, 1835 and July 31, 1835: In the from field, select Jan from the dropdown menu. Enter 1 as the day and 1835 as the year. In the to field select July from the dropdown menu, enter 31 as the day and 1835 as the year. View the search form for this example
To find all documents written before October 1870: In the to field, select Oct from the dropdown menu, leave the day blank, enter 1870 as the year. View the search form for this example
To find only documents written on July 4, 1814: In the from field, select July from the dropdown menu, enter 4 as the day, and 1814 as the year. Click copy to automatically transfer the search criteria to the to field. View the search form for this example
Example of a combined name and date search:
To find all documents written by Dr. Nathaniel Saltonstall to his son Leverett Saltonstall in June 1796: In the names field, click as author to open a search box. Select Saltonstall, Nathaniel (1746-1815) from the dropdown list. Click as recipient to add a second search box. Select Saltonstall, Leverett (1783-1845) from the dropdown list. In the dates field, select June from the dropdown menu, leave the day blank, and enter 1796 as the year in the from box. Click copy to automatically transfer the search criteria to the to field. View the search form for this example
Keywords search only the catalog information about the document, not the text of the document itself. Use the names field (above) for more targeted searching of authors and recipients. Use the keywords field to search for individuals with the same last name, or enter phrases, in quotes, to search for terms such as annexation of Texas.
To search for documents from any member of the Saltonstall family to Thomas Sanders: Select the Advanced Search tab. Select as recipient, begin typing Sanders, and select Sanders, Thomas from the dropdown list. Enter Saltonstall in the keywords field. View the search form for this example
The location field allows you to limit searches to documents written in a specific city or place. Begin typing a place name to see a list of choices, then click one of these to enter it in the search form. If the name you are searching does not appear in the list, the catalog does not contain any documents written in that place. Note that not all records in the catalog include a place.
This search will yield only those items written in a particular city or place, not items about that place or authors or recipients including a place name. Use the keyword field (above) to search for items about or names containing a particular place.
To find all documents written in Washington, D.C.: In the location field, begin typing Washington and then select Washington, DC from the dropdown menu. View the search form for this example
To find documents written in Washington, D.C. in December 1838: In the dates field, select Dec from the dropdown menu, leave the day blank, and enter 1838 as the year in the from box. Click copy to automatically transfer the search criteria to the to field. In the location field, begin typing Washington and select Washington, DC from the dropdown menu. View the search form for this example
RECORD NUMBER SEARCH
View a Record by Its ID number allows returning users to quickly access records they have viewed previously. Each record is identified by an ID number up to four digits. Enter the ID number in the search box to go directly to that record.