Access to certain documents is restricted, login to be able to view everything permitted.
If insufficient permission to view a document it will show 'Private' (rather than 'View').
Different libraries use different categories and what they mean by a category can vary.
When importing data from a library their Record Type is translated to one of our standard Record Types.
• If a Record Type of CDROM is supplied it is translated to Miscellaneous (but the original RecordType is maintained against the record) CDROM is in fact a media type., if the CD contained a Journal it should be assigned as such, however, without detailed inspection of the data it is usually too difficult to assign.
Some libraries make the distinction between Government/Post Office publications, Catalogues and Books, others do not. Therefore, the reformatting process often cannot easily identify the correct allocation of Record Types. However, some 'Data Cleaning' has been attempted, but this often relies on manual inspection if the provided data (and hence is very labour intensive).
The system contains data supplied by many libraries, to view the current list, choose the 'All Libraries' drop down to see those included. Each library works to its own data standards and even within a library there are inconsistencies in the way data has been recorded. Therefore, it is important to bear in mind that a search that pinpoints a hit for one library won't necessarily work for another. The information held is a snapshot and isn't completely up-to-date, further, it does not always hold the full information available in the libraries own database, this system is a finding aid which may point you to a library to obtain more information.
Most of the libraries have a physical presence, however, the Global Philatelic Library (GPL) is a virtual library and used for recording information from diverse sources, e.g. Journal cumulative indexes, supplied by individual societies. See also RPSL/GPL Auction Catalogues, later.
Word or Phrase Search and Wildcards
The phrase entered into the search box is sought explicitly in full, a wildcard * can be added if you want to put in a word stem, rather than a whole word, e.g. putting in 'monitor*' would bring back 'monitoring' but without the asterisk a hit would not be identified.
Initially, we used a word based search, so if you put in say 'Great Britain' the search returned every instance of 'Great' and every instance of 'Britain' – so, too many erroneous hits and we changed to phrase based.
Synonyms / Thesaurus
The system contains a list of synonyms that RPSL can supplement.
They are of two types: Replacement; Expansion.
Replacement are alternative phrases meaning the same thing, e.g. TPO; Travelling Post Offices; Train Post Offices. A search of TPO will also bring back hits on all the other phrases.
Expansion is a one-way alternative, e.g. South Africa; Natal; Zululand, a search on South Africa would bring back hits on all alternatives but a search on Natal would not bring back hits on South Africa nor Zululand.
If you have suggestions for new synonyms please submit via the Comments facility.
Not all suggestions will be included as they can have unintentional consequences, providing an explosion of hits that are not relevant.
The Microsoft FTI facility uses word-breaking feature to identify segments of words to match against. This is particularly important for different languages, like German, where compound words exist. The FTI facility attempts to break the compound words up to improve search word matching. The first release of the application does this to a certain extent, but we have identified a refinement that suggests an improvement, We will investigate, and if useful, we will seek funding for inclusion in a later release. Meanwhile, the wildcard facility offers an alternate solution.