About the Trade Catalogues
The Trade Catalogues database contains descriptions of over 6,000 trade and store catalogues, cookbooks and how-to manuals relating to the agriculture, industry and material culture of Western Canada, with an emphasis on Calgary and southern Alberta. Although most items in the Library collection have not been scanned, they may be accessed in various ways.
To do a wildcard search use "*" at the end of a string of letters. Example: "engin*" will find engines, engineers, engineering, etc.
To narrow a search (boolean "and") use "&" between the search terms. Example: "houses & prefabricated" will find records relating to ready made houses.
To broaden a search (boolean "or") use "/" between the search terms. Example: "desserts / bakery / cooking" will find records in which one of these terms occurs.
To search for one term but not another use "!" between the search terms. Example: "motors ! electric" will find all records related to motors except those identified as electric.
To search by company name or location: remember that computers are absolutely literal! For more successful searching, simplify. Even if you know a company's complete name, if it was entered differently in the database, the computer will not be able to make a match. Try just entering one word from the name or a truncated version of the name (eg. Eaton* for Eaton's of Canada). You may wish to use the ampersand "&" (and) to link two parts of a company name.
To search by subject: if you are not finding records related to your topic, you may be using terms not entered into the computer. Try using different words to describe the topic, experimenting with broader or narrower terms until you get a hit. Then take a look at the resulting list, find an entry which appears to cover your topic, and click on it to reveal the subject headings used to describe it. Then try these headings in the subject query box to search for other books described similarly.