Nebraska State Historical Society Blog

Ask the Librarian

American Archives Month, October 2017

Ask The Librarian: What is Mandarin/Oasis? Reference Room Library, Lincoln, Nebraska

Mandarin Library Automation is the company that hosts the Nebraska History Library Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC). NSHS currently use the Oasis version of Mandarin for public use. Soon, we will upgrade to the new Mandarin 5, which functions similar to the current Oasis.

When you use Oasis you are searching the catalog records for individual titles in the Library…these titles could be a book, pamphlet, map, periodical, or a newspaper…mainly a published item.  We currently do not have the actual title scanned and linked to our catalog records although for some “new” book titles the actual cover will be shown with the record.

Since we are in the midst of celebrating the centennial of World War I, let’s use this topic as an example to search for titles in our Library.

The NSHs Library was established over 134 years ago in 1893. Therefore, in many cases, the actual records have not been revised or library cataloging rules have not been updated to consistent standards.  In our Library the standard search for World War I is World War 1914-1918.

If you use this World War 1914-1918 in Standard Search Anywhere on the Library home page, you will have currently 524 hits meaning this phrase appears in 524 records of the Library!

The Enhanced Search located on the left side of the Library Home page can also be used for additional results.  This search screen is based on Boolean searching. 

  • Change all drop down menus on this page to “And” and “Anywhere.”
  • In the first Search field use the terms World War
  • In the second Search field use the terms 1914-1918
  • You limited your search to 130 records regarding World War I that are in our Library
  • Take it one step further, put in the third Search field Nebraska and you have focused your searching to researching only those titles that have references to World War I and Nebraska for a total of 40 titles.

The Nebraska History Library is a special/research library and we do not interlibrary loan original titles

If you can’t visit our Library/Archives Reference Room in Lincoln to use library material contact our L/A Reference Staff for assistance: nshs.reference@nebraska.gov

Questions about how to locate other library materials contact me at cindy.drake@nebraska.gov.

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