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Battle of Britain Database: Effectively Searching The Database

Creative researchers are likely to find golden threads to research through an imaginative use of the power and flexibility now offered. The data has always been there of course, but seeing the connections has hitherto been problematical: sometimes the needle gets hidden in the haystack. This facility changes that.

Search on this database can be very powerful and useful. With a few simple techniques you will be able to extract information that you may not have found otherwise.

To get started, put a name in the Search box, for example Brown. (you don't have to capitalize names so brown will work the same way as Brown). The result is all the Browns in the database. From this first Search you can become familiar with the layout of the database which will enable you to conduct more complex Searches.

You can perform a Search for almost anything (3 characters or more) in any column. So now replace Brown with Canada and now you see all those Canadians in the database. Now put Brown AND Canada in the Search box. This will find all records of Browns who were Canadians. (The AND is known as a Boolean operator, and tells our Search Engine you want to find entries that meet both specified criteria. (You don't have to capitalize AND incidentally: Brown and Canada will work just as well, as will brown and canada). Other than in the case of capitalization, however, spelling IS important. A search on Browne will NOT find Brown for example.

You can have up to FIVE dependencies in a single search! For example Brown AND Canada AND 242 Sqd would find all Browns who were Canadians in 242 Squadron.

A NOTE ON SEARCHES ON SQUADRON Because of technical limitations in the database software used at our hosting service you cannot search on less than 3 digits or 3 letters. You can't search for 1 for example, or B, or 72 or BA. In the case of squadrons we deal with this by adding Sqd to all single or double digit squadrons. A Search on 1 Sqd will find all pilots flying in 1 Sqd. Until we complete our modification of all the data, search for a 3 digit Squadron WITHOUT adding Sqd. Thus Search on 242 to find all pilots in 242 Squadron. If you include Sqd in a 3 digit squadron you won't get a result.

If you are familiar with other Boolean operators, try those.

We would like to hear from researchers who find interesting connections through our Search Engine. Caring is Sharing! Perhaps you would like to contribute a story based on your research? We'll be happy to publish you.



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