Mazon Creek Collections Database


Help with the Database

Searching for specimens using keywords

You can use the Search Page to have the database show you a list of all the specimen records that mention a particular word or phrase. Enter the word you want to find in the box and click the Search button. The database will show you a list of catalog numbers for specimens that match your keyword. Each catalog number is a link to that specimen's record.

Browsing several records at once

If you don't know exactly what you're looking for, you can use the Browse Page to flip through the database ten records at a time. By default, all the records are sorted by the specimen's catalog number. You can change that order by clicking the link at the top of the column you want to sort on. Then use the "First, Previous, Next, Last" links at the top and bottom of the page to move back and forth through the list.

Going directly to a particular specimen

Sometimes, you may wish to go directly to a particular specimen for which you already have the catalog number. For instance, you may have used the database before and noted the specimen; or if you are looking up a specimen from a bibliographic reference. There are several ways to do this, but the best is to enter the catalog number into the Seach by Keyword. The database will return a link to that catalog number just like any other keyword.

Getting more information about a specimen

When you first go to the page for a single specimen, you are shown the "Abbreviated Record", a short listing of the most important information. If you want to see all of the information the database holds about a specimen, click on the "show full record" link at the bottom of the Additional Information box.

Annotating a specimen record

When you find a specimen record that omits some important information, or contains information that you think is incorrect, you can attach your own comments to it for other visitors to read. Click on the "Add a new comment" link in the Additional Information box on the specimen's record. You will be taken to a page where you can enter your comements. We ask that you register a username and password before posting so that you can receive proper credit for your input; and so that no one else can pretend to be you.

Reporting problems

If you observe the database responding in a way that seems strange, or are ever given a cryptic computer error, we would appreciate your reporting it so that the bug can be eliminated. Please send us a message from the Contact Page and direct it to the ISM Webmaster. It is very helpful if you tell us what you were looking at or trying to do when the error occurred. If you copy the specific error message and send it with your note, that is even more helpful.


Contact information Copyright 2000 Illinois State Museum. All rights reserved. How to use the database Browse multiple records Search by keywords Go to database entry page Illinois State Museum